Soldier Flies 7,500 Miles For His Daughter’s Birth and Makes It With Just Minutes to Spare

Army Sergeant Zach Shryock was thrilled when his commander told him he could leave Afghanistan ahead of schedule to spend time in Georgia with his pregnant wife, Brittany, a full month before she was due to give birth to their first child. But little Myra had other plans. Watch the sweet video above to hear about her dramatic arrival!

The soldier, 28, had already traveled through Kuwait, Turkey and Germany on his long trek home and was in Baltimore on a layover when Brittany called him at 5:45 a.m. on February 15, to tell him her water had broken. “I said, ‘Come to Atlanta, please. I think we’re going to have a baby today,’” Brittany Shryock told Us Weekly. After landing in Charlotte, North Carolina, he hopped on a flight to Atlanta and was feeling like he might make it.

But as the plane taxied out onto the runway, there was an unusual delay when one of the planes in front of his hit a deer.

Zach Shryock, Brittany and Myra
Army Sergeant Zach Shryock and his wife, Brittany, with baby Myra Bella Baby Photography

Meanwhile, the birth was progressing — quickly. “I started pushing, reluctantly, without him,” Brittany, 26, told Us. But delivery nurse Misty Wright, realizing that the both mom and baby were doing fine, told her she could stop pushing for a bit and try to wait for her husband of three years to get there.

Finally on the ground in Atlanta, the soldier ran through the terminal and jumped in Brittany’s best friend Allison Turpen’s car for a very fast 20-minute drive to Piedmont Hospital in Newnan, Georgia.

Zach Shryock
Army Sergeant Zach Shryock Bella Baby Photography

“As we pull up, the whole entire hospital staff is standing there with balloons and “welcome home” signs, and they are cheering me on and giving me high-fives,” Zach Shryock told Us. The CEO of the hospital, Mike Robertson, personally whisked the dad-to-be into a waiting elevator.

Zach Shryock and Brittany
Army Sergeant Zach Shryock and his wife, Brittany Courtesy Brittany Shryock

From the hospital bed, the laboring mom “heard people going crazy in the hallway screaming and clapping, and I knew right then that my husband was there and he was on his way to me,” she told Us.

They hadn’t seen each other in more than 6 months.

“It was like a dream,” she told Us. “He hugged me and kissed me, and I was super motivated to push this baby out.”

Thirty minutes later, Myra Grace was born.

Zach Shryock and Myra
Army Sergeant Zach Shryock with baby Myra Bella Baby Photography

“We’re thankful, happy — and tired,” Zach Shryock told Us. The little family of three is staying with Brittany’s parents in Bowdon, Georgia, for a few weeks before relocating back to his home state of Kansas. “We’re just glad we get to do this together, and we’re excited for the rest of our lives,” he said.

Myra
Baby Myra Courtesy Brittany Shryock

This story was originally reported by Babble.com

Sign up now for the Us Weekly newsletter to get breaking celebrity news, hot pics and more delivered straight to your inbox!

Want stories like these delivered straight to your phone? Download the Us Weekly iPhone app now!