278th ACR Soldier witness daughter’s birth from thousands of miles away

Story by Staff Sgt. Thomas Greene
Photo by Sgt. Shannon Gregory
278th Armored Cavalry Regiment Public Affairs

CONTINGENCY OPERATION BASE TAJI, Iraq — Staff Sgt. Michael Mulligan, a truck commander with A Troop, 1st Squadron, 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) and a Trezevant, Tenn., native, said when his wife found out she was pregnant, he knew he was going to miss the birth.

After determining that he would definitely be in Iraq when the baby was due, Lorrie, his wife, asked her doctor if he would allow her to share the birth with her husband via video chat on the Internet.

“Our doctor said it went against hospital policy,” Mulligan said. “He had never done this before, but he thought this was a perfect opportunity to do it.”

Mulligan, was able to monitor the progress of the birth on the Internet March 10 from Contingency Operating Base Taji, Iraq, but the doctor put the chat on hold when Lorrie received epidural anesthesia.

“I was going crazy for 40 minutes, wondering what was going on,” Mulligan said.

When they turned the video back on, Mulligan said his sister appeared on his computer screen: “Get ready,” she said, “the doctor said she (Lorrie) is going to deliver in 10 minutes.”

Ten minutes later Mulligan’s daughter, Candyce, was born.

“The doctor held her up for me to see,” he said.

Mulligan said the doctor checked on the baby, checked on Lorrie, walked by the camera, looked down and thanked him for being in Iraq and congratulated him on a new baby girl.

The baby was named Candyce Brianna after Mulligan’s mother, who died in 2003.

Mulligan said he talked about his wife’s pregnancy with Capt. Patrick Carneal, commander of A Troop, last September.

The commander of the Tennessee Army National Guard unit based out of Huntington and Waynesboro, Tenn., “was very upfront about it,” said Mulligan.

“I understood that I wasn’t going to be able to come home from the deployment for the birth,” he said. “But the captain assured me that he would do everything in his power to see that I was in front of my computer when the baby was born.”

The night Candyce was born, the Carneal allowed Mulligan to stay back from the mission he was scheduled to be on.

Michael and Lorrie Mulligan now have three children.

 

news photo
Staff Sgt. Michael S. Mulligan, a truck commander with A Troop, 1st Squadron, 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) and a Trezevant, Tenn., native, attempts to communicate with his wife Lorrie March 10 during the birth of his daughter, Candyce.