Airman puts Service Before Self, arrives home for son's birth

  • Published
  • By Meredith March
  • 66th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
Staff Sgt. Paul Lindsay, 66th Comptroller Squadron budget analyst, proved his commitment to the Air Force Core Value of Service Before Self when he deployed in July 2008, prepared to miss a major milestone for his young family.

By the time Sergeant Lindsay departed Hanscom for a deployment in Iraq, he and his wife, Rhea, had accepted that he would not be with her during the delivery of their first child. The sergeant's return date in early March fell nearly two weeks after Mrs. Lindsay's Feb. 25 due date.

However, as Mrs. Lindsay's due date passed and the sergeant was offered a return date more than a week early, the couple began to hope that they would be together when another member joined their family.

Mrs. Lindsay, who had moved to Rochester, N.Y. to be near her college-aged brother and work as a registered nurse, had begun having contractions when Sergeant Lindsay called her upon his return to Hanscom on March 3. The next morning, as he feverishly completed his in-processing, Sergeant Lindsay learned that his wife had checked into the hospital and was in the early stages of labor.

"I tried to in-process as quickly as possible and get everything done so I could get to Rochester," Sergeant Lindsay said. "Everyone was very helpful. They knew the situation and that I was in a hurry and made sure there weren't any delays, so it went pretty smoothly."

Once he had finished his in-processing, Sergeant Lindsay embarked on the six hour drive to Rochester to be with his wife. He arrived at the hospital at approximately 11 p.m., just over 24 hours after returning from Iraq. He was relieved to find Mrs. Lindsay still in labor.

"I think the doctors and nurses sort of helped to keep [the labor] slow at first, to allow me to get back in time. They were all really great at the hospital," Sergeant Lindsay said.

Although the couple had believed for months that he would only be able to imagine the experience, Sergeant Lindsay was at his wife's side for the first time in eight months as she gave birth to their son, Aidan, at 5:02 a.m. on March 5.

"It was awesome to get back for it and be able to offer whatever support I could, especially considering the fact that we had both already accepted that I wouldn't be there for the whole thing," Sergeant Lindsay said. "Getting to see my first son born was amazing."