1. An Unusual Event
Given that the soldier was going to miss his flight, the staff tried to talk to him in an attempt to understand what happened to him. Just when they went close to him, someone screamed, "Don't let him board the flight!"
When the staff found out the reason why Spc. Brooks Lindsey was crying, they started to wonder what really led to that day's uncommon events.
2. A Beautiful Couple
In 2015, Brooks Lindsey met Haley Wilson (his wife) in their hometown in Jackson, Mississippi. From the moment they met, they instantly fell in love with each other. The couple's friends and family knew that they were inseparable. Brooks always had a dream of becoming a US army soldier.
Haley was highly supportive, and Brooks’ lifelong dream became true when he got accepted into the US army. Shortly after, in 2017, Brooks proposed to Haley who happily accepted. Although they were quite young, they decided to start their own family. It wasn't long after they tied the knot that they got the best news of their lives.
3. Unexpected News
Brooks and Haley got married in November of 2017. The couple had already made plans about starting their family, but they had no clue that Haley was already pregnant at that time. When the couple found out that they were going to become parents, they felt like the luckiest couple in the world.
They shared the big news with their family and friends and started counting days to welcome their new family member into the world. From attending doctor's appointments to talking about their first child's name, they were doing everything to welcome their first child. The ultrasound reports came and it was a BABY GIRL.
4. When Duty Calls
Brooks really wanted to be with his wife and support her, but he had to leave her at home as his country needed him. After joining the US Army, he became a member of 2nd Battalion 114th Field Artillery Regiment. After training, he was deployed to Kuwait where he would serve for 9 months.
He didn't want to leave his wife and unborn daughter behind, but he had to go. He prepared for his deployment knowing that he may not be present at the right of his daughter's birth.
5. A Goodbye Kiss
Now Brooks had to leave for Texas. Before leaving, he kissed his 7-month pregnant wife and went to the airport to board his flight. Haley and Brooks didn't want to be separated, but they understood that serving the country was important for Brooks.
Both of them were willing to make the sacrifice for the country. As Brooks pretty much knew that he won't be back before his daughter's birth, he and Haley decided to choose a name for their little bundle of joy. They chose Millie.
6. Doing The Right Thing
Although there was a minor high blood pressure issue, the overall progress of Haley's pregnancy seemed to be okay. As Haley was doing well, her daughter was also growing healthy and strong. She wanted Brooks to be there so he could see Millie, but she understood that her husband did the right thing by answering the call of duty.
Haley and her family couldn't wait to welcome Millie into the world. Whenever she missed Brooks or felt uncomfortable, she looked forward to holding her daughter for the first time as it helped her feel relaxed and excited. She was also a little bit worried about her high blood pressure because she was becoming a mother for the first time.
7. Not a Rare Case
Although Brooks wanted to return home before the birth of his daughter, he knew that not many soldiers get permission to witness the birth of their kids. It is because soldiers have to get approval from the Red Cross, which declares that the soldier's reason to leave is justified. However, it is way harder than it appears.
“Brooks and I have been practicing my call to the Red Cross because we heard it was really hard to get men home for births and we were told the only way it would actually work is if I was in distress,” Haley said. Although Haley and her entire family wanted Brooks to return, it seemed highly unlikely.
8. No Chance To Return Home
Given that Haley and Millie were healthy and there was no reason for concern, there was no excuse for Brooks to return home. If there were some health concerns, then maybe Brooks could've returned. As expected, Brooks and Haley weren't happy at all. “We were pretty upset about that because I was not having any issues with pregnancy other than a little high blood pressure.” Haley said.
Little did the couple know that things were about to change for them. Haley was on a routine visit to the doctor when she received some shocking information. She was making herself strong enough to accept that her husband would not be able to come back home to witness the birth of their daughter, but the news totally changed everything.
9. A Cause for Major Concern
It was a casual check-up of Haley, but the doctor noticed something urgent. Although she already had a problem with high blood pressure, that time, it had risen extremely high. It was troubling news for Haley as the doctor told her that high blood pressure could mean little Millie was experiencing some complications in the womb. The doctor ordered a comprehensive blood testing to check if Haley had any other health problems.
Instead of making Haley wait for the results at the hospital, he sent her home. She started to become anxious about the health of her child. The only upside was that it opened a slight opening for Brooks to be with his wife at the time when she needed him the most. And just when everyone was trying to calm Haley, the phone began to ring.
10. Troubling News
Haley was at home anxiously waiting for the test results. After one hour, she received a distressing call. “After telling Brooks there was no hope in him getting home, my doctor [told me] my pressures were too high, and the baby was being stressed, and I was preeclamptic,” Haley recollected.
Preeclampsia is a pregnancy complication in which high blood pressure starts to affect the health of the mother-to-be and damage other organs such as kidneys and liver. But Haley was more concerned about the health of her baby because this condition had put her precious Millie in harm's way.
11. Induced Into Labor
With each passing minute, the condition of Haley continued to worsen. As the safety of the mother and her child was the first priority, the doctor knew that it was best not to keep the mother-to-be waiting. So, he had her induced into labor without wasting any time. “She told me to be at the hospital in an hour, and they would go ahead and induce,” Haley remembered.
Haley had to inform Brooks about what was happening. “I called Brooks frantic, and he was so excited,” she said. It is because Brooks knew that he was eligible for emergency leave. However, he had to wait for Red Cross' approval on emergency leave before heading back home.
12. Emergency Leave Approval
As soon as Haley informed Brooks about her high blood pressure situation, he told her to inform the Red Cross about it as well. “I then went on to call Red Cross and let them know it was indeed an emergency, and they simply just needed clarification from my doctor. I get to the hospital at 3 pm Thursday, and they confirm my state,” Haley said.
The Red Cross first confirmed Haley's condition and then approved Brooks’ emergency leave. He was happy to go home to his pregnant wife, but he was also aware of her condition.
13. The Struggle of Coming Back Home
After Brooks got his application for leave granted, he couldn't wait to be with his wife and child. He already felt bad for not being with his wife when she needed him the most, so he tried looking for the quickest way to get back home.
As everyone knows, air travel can be a bit challenging. Brooks started looking for the shortest and quickest flight from El Paso to Jackson. Unluckily, there was only one flight available that had a layover in Dallas. So it meant that he had to wait until the next day just to get a flight. He had no other choice but to stay at the airport.
14. Starting of a Roller-Coaster Ride
Brooks told Haley that he won't be able to get back home on time. Naturally, she was heartbroken because she knew very well that her husband would likely miss the birth of his daughter. “I was sure that we would already have a baby by [the time he arrived]! But at least he gets to come home for 4 days so I was taking whatever I could get,” Haley remembered.
Brooks wished he had wings to fly back home to his pregnant wife. After all, the odds were stacked against the beautiful couple. He didn't know that it was the start of a roller-coaster ride for them both.
15. Her Water Broke
While Brooks waited at the airport, his wife waited in the hospital. The next morning around 10 a.m, Haley's water broke. “Friday morning my water was broken at 7 a.m., and Pitocin (a drug used to induce labor) began,” Haley said later.
While Haley's water broke, Brooks was at the El Paso airport waiting to board his 10 a.m flight to Dallas. It all seemed normal as he waited at security before boarding the plane. He wasn't quite as stressed this day because he still had a little hope to arrive on time.
16. Still a Long Way To Go
After taking the flight from El Paso, Brooks finally landed in Dallas at around 2 p.m. He immediately called his wife to know how everything was going. The doctor gave the news to him that his wife was already five centimeters dilated. It seemed like he had very little chance of making it home in time.
The situation didn't seem good because his next flight was delayed. He couldn't believe it when they announced that the take-off time was shifted from 3.55 p.m to 5.45 p.m. Now Brooks knew that whatever chance he had to witness the birth of his first-born child was gone.
17. It's Go Time
While Haley was at the hospital, she knew that her husband might not make it on time. She was in the last stages of labor, so she had to decide on who would be in the delivery room with her. “I quickly made my decision on who would be in the room during labor, and it was my stepmother, Dee Anne, and my mother in law, Teresa! The doctor came in to check me at 5:00, and she said it was go time!” Haley recalled.
In the meantime, Brooks was still at the airport in a hopeless situation. He felt devastated for not being with his wife at the time of the delivery. But he didn't know that his mother, Teresa, was planning something else.
18. Going Against Doctor's Advice
The doctor came to the delivery room and warned everyone not to record Haley's delivery. However, Teresa didn't want to let that once-in-a-lifetime moment slip away from her beloved son. So, she decided to go against the warning of the doctor. She began dialing on her phone.
“My mother in law secretly FaceTimed Brooks and shoved the phone in the front of her shirt,” Haley recalled. Brooks' mother had to do it because there was no other way for her son to see the birth of his daughter. However, the doctor didn't take long to notice what Teresa was doing.
19. It Was Justifiable
Just a few moments before Haley's delivery, the doctor noticed that Teresa was behaving a bit oddly and was quick to ask what she was doing. “When I began to push, the doctor asked what she was doing, and she showed my doctor Brooks’ face on the screen, and she realized what was going on,” Haley said.
While it's fairly unusual for people to live stream births, the doctor was considerate enough to let Teresa do what she was doing. “My doctor told her to pull the phone out and show him what was going on,” Hayley said. The doctor realized that an anxious Brooks was watching his wife bring a new life into this world.
20. Breaking Down In Tears
Once Teresa got an approval from the doctor to FaceTime the birth, it helped Brooks find his voice again. Now, he started to speak up and support his wife like he was actually present in there. “Brooks was telling me it was okay, and I was doing so good, and I heard him wincing and saying ‘wow!’ through my pushes,” Haley recalled the time when her husband supported her in the delivery room.
Brooks was so involved in supporting his wife that when the time to board the flight he couldn't move. While the staff was making boarding announcements, he couldn't take his eyes off the phone screen. He had been waiting for that moment for months and now he was overwhelmed with sheer happiness. Understandably, he broke down in tears.
21. Missing The Boarding Announcements
The airport staff made final boarding calls for the last passenger flying to Jackson as Brooks had missed all of them. One of the staff workers who had already noticed a soldier glued to his phone screen for quite some time went up to him and requested him to board the plane.
“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,” Haley recalled. Other passengers had already noticed Brooks and so they tried to delay the flight a little bit longer. There was one passenger who even went to the flight team and requested them to slow down the boarding process. If that isn't inspiring, keep on reading to find out what happened next.
22. "She's Here! She's Here!
The pressure to board the flight was mounting on Brooks and just when he was about to end the call the doctor screamed, “Don’t let him board the flight! She’s here! She’s here!” As soon as Brooks heard it, his tears changed into the most heartfelt smile. Fortunately, “the airport personnel let him sit there and watch till it was over,” Haley said. Brooks will always remember 5.23 p.m. because that's when Millie Fritz Anne Lindsey entered the world.
Now the father was happy enough to board the flight as he knew that the wait was almost over. As expected, a lot of well-wishers surrounded Brooks to congratulate him on the biggest day of his life. One of the airport workers later said that the news of Brooks' becoming a father had an inspiring impact on the airport terminal.
23. An Inspiring and Unusual Event
Although Brooks arrived at the airport all alone, he didn't leave the same way. One of the co-passengers recalled the event: “There was a whole crowd of us around him. We all felt like we were part of the family. And when that baby was born, and we could hear it crying, it was just amazing.”
Another passenger added: “Everybody was just beside themselves with excitement.” Even Haley could hear the cheers of people at the airport. It was a surreal moment for Brooks and Haley.
24. A Lucky Delay
It's almost never happened, an already delayed flight trying to delay even more, but it did because of Brooks and the demands of the passengers. “Honestly it was a blessing that he was delayed because he would’ve been in the air and he wouldn’t have known anything at all,” Hayley later said.
Everyone was happy that the flight got delayed. Now all Brooks had to do was to catch the flight and head back home to his beautiful wife and hold a bundle of joy of his life.
25. Coming Back Home
Brooks finally boarded his flight. Although it was a day filled with lots of ups and downs, he felt happy because he was only thinking about his wife and newborn little angel. Two hours before landing, he decided to switch off his phone.
As soon as he landed in Jackson, he didn't waste any time in reaching the hospital. At the hospital, his wife, little Millie, and his family were waiting for him.
26. No Cause for Concern
As Brooks finally reached the hospital, he was relieved to find out that both the mother and child were doing great. Haley's blood pressure also started to drop after the birth and the doctor assured them that there was nothing to worry about.
At the time of birth, Millie was 7 pounds and 6 ounces. “When Brooks got to the hospital, I asked all 17 people to leave the room,” Haley recalled.
27. Time to Meet The Little Angel
The moment finally came as Brooks held his daughter into his arms. Although he held his daughter for about five minutes, it felt like time stopped at that moment. He couldn't believe he was holding the miracle of life in his hands and kept on saying, "wow, I can't believe we just had a baby." He later recalled the magical moment, "I held my daughter for the first time, and I hugged and kissed my wife."
He felt like the most blessed person in the world. “It was emotional, especially not being there for the actual birth, to get to see her and hold her first the first time. She is perfect,” he added.
28. Spending Time With The Little Angel
As Brooks had a leave of just four days, he had to utilize the time in the best possible way. In those four days, he learned how to change diapers, woke up in the middle of the night to help his wife with Millie, and took a lot of memorable photographs.
The couple felt surprised when they found out that their story had gone viral. “He told me about the people on his flight cheering and watching, and I told him it would be crazy if Ellen called,” Haley joked.
29. A Viral Secret Recording
Brooks didn't know that one of his fellow passengers, Tracy Dover, was so touched by his story that she decided to secretly record the soldier as he watched his beloved wife give birth. She later uploaded the video on Facebook and it quickly went viral.
“This Army soldier was on my delayed flight home yesterday to MS,” Dover wrote on her Facebook post. “He had to watch the birth of his daughter on FaceTime. He was crying, and our hearts were breaking. We all gave him space. 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 every day and the sacrifices they make.”
30. A Heartwarming Video
The video became viral as it melted the hearts of so many people all over the world. “The next morning, we woke up to someone telling us to check Facebook where we had over 1,000 shares and 20,000 likes. We thought that was it but NO WAY it’s still going strong!” Haley recalled.
She also recalled that her husband wasn't aware someone was filming him. “I was just in my own little zone,” he said. “My only intentions were getting home to see my daughter being born, but it turned into something much more than we anticipated,” he further added.
31. Receiving Lots of Love and Warm Wishes
The couple didn't expect to get so much love and warm wishes from strangers. “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," Haley said.
“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!” she added.
32. Going Back To Serve The Country
Brooks couldn't get enough of his beautiful daughter. But he had to go back to the base to serve his country.
It is understandable that leaving your first-born child can be difficult, but Brooks and Haley knew that it was important for him to fulfill his duty to his nation. Brooks felt sad, but he knew that they would FaceTime regularly.
33. The Sacrifices of Soldiers
It is important to understand that soldiers make a lot of sacrifices to protect their country. One such example is of Brooks Lindsey. By the way, Brooks was lucky enough to spend some days after the birth of his daughter.
Many soldiers don’t even get to witness the birthdays of their children and even wedding anniversaries. Not many people understand the sacrifice of Rick Raley, a brave veteran, a beloved husband, and a caring father. He was also going back home to meet his pregnant wife when something unimaginable happened.
34. Part of The Real-Life Avengers
In 2004, Rick Raley joined the Army National Guard. During his time overseas, Raley was part of a unit that was unofficially called "The Avengers" because it had led over 200 convoys and combat missions. To him, every member of the unit was like a family member.
While his first deployment in Iran was ending in 2008, his wife was five months pregnant. He was looking forward to the birth of his son. But just before he could come back home, a tragedy struck.
35. Two Devastating Accidents
On one unfortunate day, Raley's truck embarked on a routine convoy. He accidentally tripped on an IED (improvised explosive device). Although every soldier in the unit got injured, they still managed to walk two miles back to the base. For the bravery, Raley and two other soldiers were honored with Purple Hearts.
Although Raley managed to get back home to his pregnant wife, he suffered misfortunes during his return. For instance, the explosion didn't physically hurt the brave soldier, but it did hurt him mentally as he suffered from a traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). And that's not it. Just six months later, he got paralyzed from the waist down due to an almost-fatal truck accident.
36. Not Giving Up
Once Raley came back home, he started to try his best to be a supportive husband and dad. However, he kept on battling PTSD. He knew that only he could overcome the problem and get his old life back. Luckily, he found hand-cycling and wheelchair basketball. It wasn't long before he discovered The Boot Campaign, a non-profit organization that comes up with life-improvement programs to empower veterans to fill the gap between military and civilian life.
As of now, Raley travels across the US to raise awareness and funds for The Boot Campaign. By the way, he cycled 1,500 miles from New York to Florida just to be at the Wounded Warriors Abilities Ranch. He hopes to raise at least $150,000 for the campaign. One thing we know that stories like these are not only inspiring but also important in highlighting the sacrifices the soldiers make for our country.