Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
Soldier Delivered Daughter At Fort Drum Gates After Base Hospital Turned Wife Away
When Brittany Kennedy showed up at the hospital in labor last Monday night, she was told she wasn't dilated enough to have her baby and was sent back home to the Fort Drum Army base.
Less than an hour later, her husband — U.S. Army Sgt. Preston Kennedy — delivered their baby girl in the couple's car at a Fort Drum entrance gate. The couple's other four children remained in the back seat of their Dodge Durango - one of them fast asleep during the whole event.
"I still can hardly believe it,' Brittany Kennedy, 29, said this weekend. "I had a baby inside a car! And I'm so proud of my husband - the first time we had a child he nearly passed out in the delivery room."
Brittany Kennedy wasn't due to have her baby until Jan. 25, but her labor pains started Monday, Jan 8. By late afternoon, the couple decided to go to the hospital. They got their other four children into the car, and made the 25-minute drive to Watertown.
At the hospital, Brittany Kennedy said she was examined, but sent home because her labor hadn't progressed enough. She said she questioned the decision, but decided the experts knew best. She said she had had four children already, and felt like she knew her body.
"As we started to drive back, I had a feeling we weren't going to make it home before the baby came,'' she said. "But Preston assured me I was probably just nervous and disappointed."
The couple, who are from Texas originally, stopped at a Taco Bell drive-thru in Watertown to get their other four children some food.
As they got back on the highway, Brittany Kennedy remembers the pain intensifying. She pushed her seat back, and her young son placed his small hand on her forehead to comfort her. As they drove, she told her husband she felt the urge to push.
"I told her no - don't push, just breathe - until we can at least get home,'' said Preston Kennedy, 29. "I was driving, and then all of a sudden I heard a pop and her water broke. We made it to the Fort Drum gates, and I pulled over and stopped the car."
He called out to the soldier at the gate to call an ambulance. Then he got in the front seat and propped one of his wife's legs on the dashboard radio and the other on the car door.
"I'm thinking 'oh my God, not right now,' '' Preston Kennedy said. "I was really nervous, but I knew I had to stay calm. I could see the baby's head crowning, and then it was coming out in my palm. And then she was out - and crying!"
Looking back, he said he acted instinctively.
"I've been in the delivery room for our four other children," he said. "And when you are in the military, you learn to handle stressful situations calmly and with poise. So that really helped me."
At some point during the whirlwind delivery, Preston Kennedy called his platoon sergeant Justin Foster. When he told him he was at the gate delivering his baby, Foster at first didn't believe him, but he quickly realized it was true.
"I could hear his wife screaming in pain," Foster recalled, and just a few seconds later he heard the baby start to cry. He told Preston to wrap the baby up in something warm, and turn up the heat while waiting for the ambulance. (The high that day was only 36 degrees.)
Preston Kennedy said another solider who had come by during the delivery offered his coat to wrap the baby in. Within a few minutes, the Fort Drum ambulance and fire department were there.
Brittany Kennedy returned to the hospital and this time was admitted. She stayed until Wednesday morning.
Bella was six pounds, 13 ounces and 18 inches long. She joins Preston Jr., 2; Paytin, 6; Kianna, 8 and Ananda, 10, at home.
Preston, who is a field artillery tactical database systems specialist with the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, is now at home helping his wife. When the 1st Brigade posted his successful delivery on their Facebook page, congratulatory messages came in from everywhere.
"The whole thing just happened so fast,'' Preston Kennedy told Syracuse.com. "It's still hard for me to believe I actually delivered my own baby - and in my car!"
©2018 Syracuse Media Group, N.Y. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
Kade Kurita, the 20-year-old West Point cadet who had been missing since Friday evening, was found dead on Tuesday night, the U.S. Military Academy announced early Wednesday morning.
"We are grieving this loss and our thoughts and prayers go out to Cadet Kurita's family and friends," Lt. Gen. Darryl Williams, superintendent of West Point, said in the release.
The Air Force is investigating whether an airman smoked weed at a missile alert facility for nuclear Minuteman ICBMs
The Air Force is investigating reports that an airman consumed marijuana while assigned to one of the highly-sensitive missile alert facility (MAF) responsible for overseeing 400 nuclear GM-30G Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles at Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota.
Mark Mitchell is stepping down as the acting assistant defense secretary for special operations and low-intensity conflict, a position he has held since late June, a defense official confirmed on Tuesday.
No information was immediately available about why Mitchell decided to resign. His last day will be Nov. 1 and he will be replaced by Thomas Alexander, who is currently leading the Defense Department's counternarcotics efforts, the defense official told Task & Purpose.
The U.S. Army's Next Generation Squad Weapon effort looked a lot more possible this week as the three competing weapons firms displayed their prototype 6.8mm rifles and automatic rifles at the 2019 Association of the United States Army's annual meeting.
Just two months ago, the Army selected General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems inc., Textron Systems and Sig Sauer Inc. for the final phase of the NGSW effort — one of the service's top modernization priorities to replace the 5.56mm M4A1 carbine and the M249 squad automatic weapon in infantry and other close-combat units.
Army officials, as well as the companies in competition, have been guarded about specific details, but the end result will equip combat squads with weapons that fire a specially designed 6.8mm projectile, capable of penetrating enemy body armor at ranges well beyond the current M855A1 5.56mm round.
There have previously been glimpses of weapons from two firms, but this year's AUSA was the first time all three competitors displayed their prototype weapons, which are distinctly different from one another.
US troops withdrawing to Iraq from Syria can't redeploy there and have to leave in 4 weeks, Baghdad says
The 1,000 U.S. troops leaving Syria will be allowed to stay in Iraq for at most four weeks, Iraq's defense minister said Wednesday, in an embarrassing rebuff to President Donald Trump's plans for withdrawing from Syria.
Najah al-Shammari's comments to the Associated Press came shortly after his meeting with U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper, who went to Baghdad to negotiate the redeployment of U.S. troops in Iraq after they withdrew from Syria.