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.
'It just happened' — the Iraq War’s first living Medal of Honor recipient recalls his harrowing fight against 5 insurgents
On Nov, 10, 2004, Army Staff Sgt. David Bellavia knew that he stood a good chance of dying as he tried to save his squad.
Bellavia survived the intense enemy fire and went on to single-handedly kill five insurgents as he cleared a three-story house in Fallujah during the iconic battle for the city. For his bravery that day, President Trump will present Bellavia with the Medal of Honor on Tuesday, making him the first living Iraq war veteran to receive the award.
In an interview with Task & Purpose, Bellavia recalled that the house where he fought insurgents was dark and filled with putrid water that flowed from broken pipes. The battle itself was an assault on his senses: The stench from the water, the darkness inside the home, and the sounds of footsteps that seemed to envelope him.
With the Imperial Japanese Army hot on his heels, Oscar Leonard says he barely slipped away from getting caught in the grueling Bataan Death March in 1942 by jumping into a choppy bay in the dark of the night, clinging to a log and paddling to the Allied-fortified island of Corregidor.
After many weeks of fighting there and at Mindanao, he was finally captured by the Japanese and spent the next several years languishing under brutal conditions in Filipino and Japanese World War II POW camps.
Now, having just turned 100 years old, the Antioch resident has been recognized for his 42-month ordeal as a prisoner of war, thanks to the efforts of his friends at the Brentwood VFW Post #10789 and Congressman Jerry McNerney.
McNerney, Brentwood VFW Commander Steve Todd and Junior Vice Commander John Bradley helped obtain a POW award after doing research and requesting records to surprise Leonard during a birthday party last month.
Hundreds of Marines will join their British counterparts at a massive urban training center this summer that will test the leathernecks' ability to fight a tech-savvy enemy in a crowded city filled with innocent civilians.
The North Carolina-based Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 8th Marines, will test drones, robots and other high-tech equipment at Muscatatuck Urban Training Center near Butlerville, Indiana, in August.
They'll spend weeks weaving through underground tunnels and simulating fires in a mock packed downtown city center. They'll also face off against their peers, who will be equipped with off-the-shelf drones and other gadgets the enemy is now easily able to bring to the fight.
It's the start of a four-year effort, known as Project Metropolis, that leaders say will transform the way Marines train for urban battles. The effort is being led by the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory, based in Quantico, Virginia. It comes after service leaders identified a troubling problem following nearly two decades of war in the Middle East: adversaries have been studying their tactics and weaknesses, and now they know how to exploit them.
WASHINGTON/RIYADH (Reuters) - President Donald Trump imposed new U.S. sanctions onIran on Monday following Tehran's downing of an unmanned American drone and said the measures would target Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Trump told reporters he was signing an executive order for the sanctions amid tensions between the United States and Iran that have grown since May, when Washington ordered all countries to halt imports of Iranian oil.
Trump also said the sanctions would have been imposed regardless of the incident over the drone. He said the supreme leaders was ultimately responsible for what Trump called "the hostile conduct of the regime."
"Sanctions imposed through the executive order ... will deny the Supreme Leader and the Supreme Leader's office, and those closely affiliated with him and the office, access to key financial resources and support," Trump said.
While it can be difficult to peg down just how star-spangled a state is, one indicator is the rate at which citizens enlist in the military, especially during the United States' longest period of sustained conflict. At least, that's the thinking behind WalletHub's new study, 2019's Most Patriotic States in America.