Being a soldier entails a lot of sacrifices for your country. That’s what makes it so special when a community comes together to make a sacrifice for a soldier. When army specialist Brooks Lindsey was spotted crying in an airport, staff and passengers alike took notice. With one look at the soldier’s phone, it became clear what was going on and how everyone could join together to help. Read on to find out what an airport full of strangers did to make one soldier’s day.
Meet Spc. Brooks Lindsey
This is Brooks Lindsey and his wife, Haley. The pair met back in 2015 and fell in love. With her support, Brooks chose to enlist in the army. Not long after joining the military, the happy couple got married.
The newlyweds prepared to bid their goodbyes since Brooks would have to leave for Fort Bliss, Texas to train. After his training was complete, he would embark on a nine-month deployment in Kuwait. However, this wasn’t the only news the couple received.
They Were Expecting!
Brooks and Haley found out shortly after their wedding that Haley was pregnant. As it turned out, she had been carrying during their wedding without realizing it! The couple was overjoyed to be welcoming a new member to the family.
The only problem was the timing, especially since Brooks would be in Texas through the expected delivery date. The soldier knew when he signed up that there were sacrifices he would have to make, but now he had to face it head-on.
Leaving His Wife Was Difficult
While he knew that leaving his wife would be difficult, he didn’t know how much harder it would be to leave her while she was carrying their first child. The couple found out that they were going to have a girl.
In their final time together before Brook’s departure, they decided to name her Millie. The soldier kissed his seven-month-pregnant wife goodbye and set out on his military journey, not knowing if he would get to see the birth of his daughter.
There Was Only One Way He Would See The Birth
The couple knew that most soldiers don’t get approval to come home to see the birth of their child. The only way that they would be able to get Brooks home on leave would be to have the Red Cross approve his time off.
That would only happen if his pregnant wife was in distress, though. Since Millie was having a healthy pregnancy thus far, the couple knew that Brooks would probably have to miss it.
They Looked At The Bright Side
Knowing that Brooks wasn’t going to be able to be at the birth was heartbreaking, but they also knew that it was good news to a degree. Since the only way for him to get leave would be a complication with the birth, the couple was grateful to have a healthy baby.
It wasn’t the most ideal scenario, but it certainly outweighed anything being of concern with the pregnancy. The couple decided to count their lucky stars and embrace the situation.
One Doctor’s Visit Changed Everything
Haley was well into her pregnancy when she went in for a routine checkup that changed everything. The doctor discovered that Haley’s blood pressure was alarmingly high and immediately called for blood work to be done.
They sent Haley home to await the results, which filled her with anxiety. The couple had already given up on having Brooks home for the birth and were happy if that meant the baby was okay. Now, it looked like things might not be as easygoing as they’d hoped.
Haley Discovered She Was Preeclamptic
Haley didn’t have to wonder for long what her doctor had to say, because she got a call just an hour after leaving the hospital. The news was urgent: Haley was preeclamptic. This meant that her high blood pressure was having a negative impact on her organs.
If her condition was already effecting Haley’s body, then the doctor had to work fast to address the baby. She made the quick decision to have Haley come back to the hospital for induced labor.
The Couple Was Both Excited And Frantic
Haley rapidly called Brooks, who couldn’t believe the news. While he was anxious about the health of his wife and baby, he was also ecstatic to finally have grounds to head home. The next step was for Haley to call the Red Cross.
She did so and explained that they were in a state of emergency. She then put her doctor on the phone, who confirmed the scenario. This gave Red Cross what they needed to send Brooks on his way!
Brooks Struggled To Find A Flight Home
Brooks couldn’t get to his wife fast enough, but something else was standing in his way. The earliest flight he could book was at 10 o’clock in the morning the following day!
If that weren’t enough, the flight also had a layover in Dallas. Brooks landed in Dallas the following day at 2 p.m. He immediately called Haley, who was five centimeters dilated. What’s worse is that Brooks’ final flight home was delayed by two hours!
The Couple Stayed Grateful
At this point, Brooks wouldn’t be flying home until 5:45 and his daughter, Millie, was well on her way. The couple knew that odds were not in their favor when it came to Brooks being there for the delivery, but they looked at the bright side.
The new father would still have four days on his leave to spend with his newborn. But that wasn’t enough for Haley. She made a quick decision that would ensure Brooks could at least see his daughter born.
They Filmed The Whole Thing
The time had come for Haley to push and she decided last minute that her stepmother and Brooks’ mother, Teresa, needed to be there. It was 5:00 and Brooks was still nearly an hour from takeoff, so he sat in the airport and waited.
Then, something popped up on his phone. It was his mother, Teresa, who was filming the entire birth! Brooks became overwhelmed with awe as he watched his wife deliver their child.
Everyone In The Airport Started To Notice
As the minutes ticked on, Brooks became completely absorbed in the video and unaware of his nearing flight. He broke down crying as he watched his daughter nearly entering the world.
Through it all, he cheered his wife on. Amid all of the commotion, airport personnel had been making their last call over the intercom for Brooks’ flight! After all the obstacles Brooks had to overcome to get home, the last thing he’d want is to miss his flight after seeing his baby being born.
They Delayed Boarding So Brooks Could Watch
Passengers quickly came to Brooks’ aid. They purposely took their time boarding and someone ran up to tell the staff to slow down! Then the doctor yelled through the phone, “Don’t let him board the flight! She’s here!”
Just as Brooks needed to board, his daughter began to crown. It seemed entirely wrong to ask a soldier to pick between his flight home and seeing his daughter’s birth. Airport personnel abandoned their tight schedule to let Brooks watch the entire birth of Millie before boarding.
Everyone Cheered At Millie’s First Cry
The expression on Brooks’ face evokes the excitement that not only he felt, but those at the airport also felt. One passenger described feeling like one big family joined by their excitement as they heard Millie cry for the first time.
Many of the passengers stuck by Brooks’ side as he watched her birth and accompanied him only the plane when the time had come. Airport personnel said that the happy feeling lingered in the airport even after Brooks had left.
Another Person Had Come To Brooks’ Aid
Remember when Brooks got that initial video call from his mother, Teresa, so he could see his daughter’s birth? It turns out, Teresa had been under the impression she was breaking the rules by filming the birth.
Apparently, another doctor had said they couldn’t record, but Teresa did so anyway by hiding her phone in her shirt. When Haley’s doctor eventually noticed, she completely understood the circumstance and encouraged her to keep filming. It was then that Brooks could speak up and give his wife words of encouragement.
Meeting His Newborn At Last
All of the hoops that Brooks had to jump to were leading to this single moment: holding Millie for the first time. He and Haley realized that his flight being delayed those two hours was actually for the best since he would have been in the air during Millie’s birth otherwise.
When Brooks had finally arrived at the hospital, Haley asked everyone to leave the room so they could zero in on the special moment. You can tell from the angle that is was Haley, laying in her hospital bed, who captured this image of the soldier holding his daughter.
Brooks’ Family Was Happy And Healthy
Best of all, both mother and daughter were healthy. Haley’s blood pressure had already started to drop after giving birth. Despite being born two weeks early, Millie weighed in at 7 pounds, 6 ounces and was 21 inches long, all ideal for a newborn.
Brooks felt lucky to get to hug and kiss his wife after her delivery since many soldiers cannot. He told her he couldn’t believe they just had a baby, a feeling that many new parents can probably relate to. He called Millie perfect.
The Couple Received The Support Of Thousands
The day after Millie’s birth, the couple woke up to thousands of messages on Facebook. Apparently, one of the passengers in the airport had shared a video of the crying soldier and explained what happened. The video amassed hundreds of thousands of views in a matter of days.
Strangers brought gifts to their hospital room, nurses thanked Brooks for his service, and thousands reached out with kind words. Some families who found themselves in similar situations began soliciting advice from the couple.
They Shed Light On What Soldiers Go Through
Brooks and Haley’s story reached many who saw the emotional toll that having to separate from your family can have on soldiers. Still, the couple remained strong and used their attention to spread positivity, which ultimately inspired the support of the community.
The family continued to communicate over video chat while Brooks was away on his deployment. While it wouldn’t be remotely the same as being in person, it helped them get through the many days apart.
The Family Remains Strong
Millie continued to grow into a very healthy toddler and Brooks eventually made it back home to see that. The young family glowed when they were reunited once again. Brooks had fulfilled his dream of becoming a soldier while discovering a new dream: becoming a father.
Many soldiers miss not only their child’s birth but also other important moments like anniversaries and birthdays while they’re away. As we’ve seen demonstrated in this story, such sacrifices are not always, and should not ever, be lost on the community these soldiers serve.