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Shogun redeploys in nick of time for son's birth

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Christopher A. Marasky
  • 18th Wing Public Affairs
After a long and arduous journey, one member of the 18th Wing was able to make it home in the nick of time for a life-changing event.

Staff Sgt. Bryan O'Sullivan, 18th Wing safety office, returned from a four-and-a-half-month deployment to Ali Al Salem Air Base, Kuwait, just in time for the birth of his son Terence Issay O'Sullivan Jan. 13.

After the long trip from Kuwait to the U.S. and then on to mainland Japan, Sergeant O'Sullivan landed at Naha airport and was quickly rushed to the hospital where his wife was waiting. He arrived at 10:48 p.m. to see his son born 23 minutes later.

"It was a little overwhelming," he said. "Especially since I had been awake for a few days at that point. There was a rush of emotions."

While it had a happy ending, Sergeant O'Sullivan's trip home was unexpectedly tense. Having kept in contact daily via e-mail for the duration of his deployment, Sergeant O'Sullivan suddenly lost contact with his wife the day before he left.

"We wound up getting delayed for about 50 hours, and I didn't have the access to call anyone," he said. "So I was really worried about what was going on."

Sergeant O'Sullivan didn't find out that his wife had gone into labor until he spoke with her on the phone after landing in Tokyo. Shortly before taking off to return to Okinawa, he was told the baby would likely be born within 30 minutes, and that he was going to miss it.

Fortunately for him, his wife was able to hold off delivery and give him a chance to be present.

"When I landed in Okinawa, my entire shop was there with little banners saying welcome back, and as soon as I landed, they said 'let's go'," said Sergeant O'Sullivan. "They said you're wife's waiting for you, hurry up and get down here as fast as you can."

In the end, Sergeant O'Sullivan was able to make it to the birth of his child, largely due to the support and aid of Team Kadena members.

While deployed, a number of spouses stopped by to check on his wife, ensuring that she was well-fed and knew about all the base programs for spouses of deployed Airmen.

"Stepping back and looking at the O'Sullivan's story reveals the important role those that remain at home play in ensuring an effective deployed fighting force," said Lt. Col. Stephen Dobronski, 18th wing chief of safety

With a happy, healthy baby in hand, Sergeant O'Sullivan thanks those in the 18th Wing who helped him be there to welcome the newest member of his family.

"Thanks to everyone that supported my wife and me," he said. "I couldn't have asked for anything better."