Soldier in Iraq hops 10 flights home to witness daughter's birth

Despite being stationed in Iraq, Francois Clerfe was determined to make the journey home to California in time for the birth of his first child. Ten flights and two days later, the U.S. Army combat engineer managed just that by Jan. 1.

“Kuwait, to Turkey, to Turkey to Frankfurt, Frankfurt to Baltimore, Baltimore to Atlanta,” Clerfe recounted to WCVB of his trek back to the West Coast. The station further explained that he utilized a special policy in his battalion to return to Monterey to support wife Natalia Svistunova.

“It was fun and exciting at the same time, you know the thrill of thinking the 'what-ifs,'” he joked of the journey, which spanned thousands upon thousands of miles.

At 9:53 a.m. on New Year’s Day, baby Julia arrived at Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula. She was the hospital’s first baby born in 2018, WVCB reports.

Meanwhile, Svistunova said she had no fear of her husband failing to make it back in time.

“You know I had the feeling that he would make it because he really wanted to be here, next to us,” she told the outlet.