A U.S. Army soldier took 10 flights in 2 days to get home in time to attend his daughter’s birth in Monterey, California.
U.S. Army Combat Engineer Francois Clerfe made it to the hospital in time to join his wife, Natalia Svistunova, at the hospital before she gave birth to their daughter on New Year’s Day.
Clerfe said he flew nearly 10,000 miles from his deployment in Iraq to L.A. — that’s 10 flights over 2 days. “Kuwait, to Turkey, to Turkey to Frankfurt, Frankfurt to Baltimore, Baltimore to Atlanta,” he said, before catching the final 3 legs of his trip to Monterey.
Baby Julia was due to arrive on January 9, but she arrived a week early at 9:53 a.m. on New Year’s Day.
“I’m glad baby Julia waited for me,” Clerfe told a reporter. But Natalia knew he would make it to the hospital in time. “You know I had the feeling that he would make it because he really wanted to be here,” she told WCVB.
“You can’t explain, but inside of you is just jumping for joy,” said Clerfe who will enjoy a month at home with his new daughter. He added: “That moment, having a first kid into the world [on] the very first day of the New Year, I think that it’s going to be a very good year.”