10 SEPTEMBER 2013
Brave Sergeant Johnson Beharry VC shows off his own little hero – his baby son Ayden – in the latest issue of HELLO! magazine.
"I love him so much that I don't want to go to bed, I just want to be with him," Johnson told HELLO! as he cradled his son in his strong arms.
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"I hold him and watch him as he sleeps, then stay awake until dawn," added the war veteran, who was the first living recipient of the Victoria Cross in more than 30 years. "My job is being on guard in the army so it comes naturally to me."
Johnson of the 1st Battalion, Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment, was awarded the Victoria Cross in 2005, the highest military decoration for valour in the British and Commonwealth armed forces, for twice saving members of his unit from ambushes. He risked his life to save others and still bears the scars today including a titanium plate in his skull.
He told HELLO! that he never believed he’d enjoy fatherhood. Reflecting on his life in the army he says, "Before Iraq I never imagined being a dad. I lived on the edge and thought it was inevitable that I would die. I wonder how I survived. Everyone tells me I must be here for a reason. Maybe it is my work with me charity. But it's also for Ayden."
His wife Mallissa added that Johnson is a hands-on dad. "He loves being with him," she said. "Whenever he speaks, Ayden opens his eyes and tries to find him. Johnson wants to be involved with everything."
In tribute to his son, Johnson has had all his medals made into mini replicas and given them to his boy.
"I had them made for little Ayden," he said with a smile.
For the full interview see HELLO!issue 1294 out now.