by Cassandra R. Elias
Jonathan and Megan Keeney were expecting their first baby, a boy, Jaxon on June 6, 2012. Megan was to be induced and intubated for what was to be a somewhat risky delivery. Little Jaxon had been pre-diagnosed with a heart defect and would require immediate surgery after his birth.
This whole situation is scary for any parent, but especially if mom is going through this whole procedure without dad and his loving support.
In a stroke of luck, Jonathan was sent home from active duty in Afghanistan to be there for his wife and baby. Despite flight delays, he made it with just hours to spare.
Megan, surrounded by family and friends was anxious, to say the least. Finally, in came Jonathan in army fatigues. He placed his hands on her stomach to feel his baby kick for the first time.
Jonathan left for Afghanistan on Christmas Day, 2011. The couple are high school sweethearts and newlyweds, having gotten married on July 30, 2011.
Jonathan was in his second military tour, but he wanted to be there for his wife when she had their child. "It means everything to finally be able to feel my baby boy kick… it's what I've been waiting for."
Jonathan said he was determined to be home for the birth as soon as Megan informed him of the situation via Skype, an online communication and messaging device. He began asking his superiors for a leave at the end of February or the beginning of March. Permission was granted but problems arose that almost prevented him from returning on time.
The family started calling state political leaders last Sunday, hoping they could help get him home in time for the birth.
Wes Holden, director of constituent services for Senator Jay Rockefeller said, "His family learned he might not be able to get the next flight out until June 7, well after the baby was being born. So the senator got in touch with the Pentagon and got in touch with the appropriate people, who took immediate action, and within a couple hours, they went through Jonathan's command and were able to get him on the next flight out."
"I didn't know what to think," Jonathan said. "That much support for one individual that really just wanted to get home for a baby, that really means the world."
Are you or do you know someone whose spouse is in the military and expecting? Share your thoughts here!
Photo courtesy of Charleston Daily Mail.