Private Jeff ‘JJ’ Doherty was killed in a Taliban ambush just two days after his 20th birthday on June 12, 2008. He was serving with 2 Para when his patrol came under fierce enemy fire in Helmand Province. More than ten years after his death, his younger brother Fin, who was just six when JJ died, is now training to become a Para.
Speaking to the BBC’s The Inside Out programme, Fin said: “Whenever he was home he was always making a fuss of me, there were always good times – no bad times.
“We were always misbehaving and messing about.
“He was the big brother who I loved, he loved me and I knew I was loved from a young age.”
Fin, 17, from Southam, Warks., said JJ’s death had a lasting impact on him.
He said: “I was ready to fight anybody at any time.
“You could say hello and I’d shout at you. I wasn’t just doing it outside the house, but inside the house as well.
“We’d be sitting in the living room and nobody would speak to me because they were worried about how I’d react.
“I couldn’t think of a better job than doing something that I think matters, especially for something my brother laid down his life for.
“To wear that maroon cap, there’s no greater pride.
“I’d rather have what happened to him happen to me at the same age than live to 100 and never do it because that pride of being a paratrooper is everything.
“There’s nothing more in this world that I want, and that’s the mentality you’ve got to have.
“I’d love more than anything in the world to wear my brother’s beret.”
JJ’s family received help from Winston’s Wish, who support children and young people after the death of a parent or sibling, including military families thanks to funding from Help for Heroes.
The family have helped raise more than £100,000 through the JJ Memorial Fund for families of injured Paratroopers and families of Paras killed in action.
Paying tribute to JJ, mum Joyce, 45, said: “There was never anything else, nothing else was an option, it was the parachute regiment or nothing.
“He knew they were the best of the best and that’s who he wanted to be.
“I didn’t know how I was going to get through the next hour, let alone the next day. I was absolutely heartbroken.”
Published at Mon, 11 Feb 2019 15:12:00 +0000