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Web spirits miracle of birth to soldier in Iraq

POSTED: September 27, 2008 5:00 a.m.

Editor’s note: State Rep. Doug Collins, R-Gainesville, currently is in Iraq as a U.S. Air Force Reserve chaplain. He began his service there earlier this month. He is reporting weekly on the activities at his location.

I grew up hearing stories about the military and watching movies and television shows that showed the life of the military in combat. One of the things that always struck me about those movies was how long it took to get information from home.

When I was pastor at Chicopee Baptist Church, many of the folks served in World War II, and they told me stories about how they would go for months without hearing from home.

So when I arrived in country over here I was not sure what to expect. I knew I would be able to call some and would have e-mail, but I still was not sure how well everything worked. I have been amazed with the ability we have to communicate with our loved ones by phone, e-mail and yes, regular mail.

I say all of that because this week I had the privilege to witness something that still brings a tear to my eye, even now. I work with many different units here, and I have gotten to know a lot of people in those units. They share their lives with me and let me get to know them, and for that I am thankful.

One day last week I was meeting with one of my groups, and I found out that one of our young men was called and told that his wife was getting ready to have a baby. I was told he was called over to the Red Cross office to talk with her. Always up for good news, I went over to see him and offer him support and prayer. As a father of three wonderful kids I knew that his world was about to change, and he would need all the prayer and support I could give.

When I got there I was expecting to see him on the phone and talking with his wife. What I found blew me away. They had him hooked up with his wife via webcam. He was not only talking to her, but he could see her in real time.

Throughout the night I would leave and check back on him each time his wife was moving closer to having their first child.

About 10 minutes before I was to get off I stopped by one more time. When I walked into the room, she was beginning to push, and here this father to be, who was thousands of miles away, was talking to her giving her the encouragement that only a husband can give. After a few minutes the doctor came in and shortly thereafter two men in the middle of Iraq were able to see a beautiful little girl come into the world. I can safely say that for the new dad and one old chaplain there was not a dry eye in the room.

I walked out that morning shouting in the midst of the desert. In a place that seems so desolate, a new life sprang forth many miles away.

Please keep all who serve in your prayers. This was just one example of things that go on every day. I wish the news was always this good.

We have come a long way in our ability to communicate, but it still is the message that matters, and I am blessed to serve these wonderful folks.



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