A picture is worth a thousand words, as the old saying goes. Every once in a while a candid photograph of everyday life captures something unique, beautiful, heartbreaking or otherwise touching. One of those rare images was captured by a passenger at a Dallas, Texas airport: a soldier sitting alone with his cell phone, watching the birth of his daughter via FaceTime.
“This Army soldier was on my delayed flight home yesterday to MS. He had to watch the birth of his daughter on FaceTime. He was crying and our hearts were breaking,” Tracy Dover, a fellow passenger wrote on Facebook with the emotional photo. “When we heard the baby cry, we all rejoiced for him. I wanted to share this because I never want us to forget about our soldiers who serve us everyday and the sacrifices they make.”
The photo quickly went viral, and as they story spread — touching the hearts of many around the country — the details of the story quickly came to light.
The soldier was Brooks Lindsey, a member of the 2nd Battalion, 114th Field Artillery Regiment, who was at Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas waiting to be deployed to Kuwait for nine months. Back at home in Mississippi, his wife Haley was ready to give birth. Haley shared her story with Love What Matters, saying she was due to be induced in a few days, but her doctor found her blood pressure was too high and she needed to be induced right away.
After calling Brooks through the Red Cross, the soldier immediately booked a flight out of El Paso, Texas and was meeting his connecting flight out of Dallas when the flight got delayed. Brook’s mother, who was in the delivery room, started to FaceTime the soon-to-be father so he could watch the birth.
“Brooks was telling me it was okay, and I was doing so good and I heard him wincing and saying ‘wow!’ through my pushes. I could hear people in the airport talking and cheering,” Haley said. “Brooks then went on to say that they were making him board and needed to get off as soon as she finally started to crown and all I remember was my Doctor screaming ‘Don’t let him board the flight! She’s here! She’s here!'”
Instead of boarding, the airport workers let Brooks continue to watch until his daughter was born. He then jumped on the plane and flew home to see his wife and newborn daughter.
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Finally at the hospital is Mississippi, Brooks met his wife at the hospital. Haley said her husband just held their baby girl, Millie, for five minutes saying, “Wow I can’t believe we just had a baby.”
Brooks received four days leave to be with his wife and daughter before returning to Fort Bliss for his deployment.
“I have the sweetest messages and I also have other military wives and mothers messaging me about how I got in touch with Red Cross and got him home and any tips,” she shared with Love What Matters. “We had random people bringing gifts to our rooms and nurses coming in and thanking Brooks for his service! It has been an amazing, emotional time full of so much support!”
The photo and video of the soldier sitting in the airport watching his daughter’s birth via FaceTime rapidly went viral, touching hearts across America and reminding people everywhere of the sacrifices the men and women of the Armed Forces make each and every day!
Watch this viral video and remember the sacrifices our service members make everyday!
Jacob H. is an award-winning journalist and photojournalist who currently resides is West Michigan with his wife. In his spare time, Jacob enjoys writing, photography, mountain climbing, and camping.