PFC Tommy Wallace had just returned to his base from a mission is Kalsu, Iraq, when he skyped his mom, Ellen, here in Columbia City.
Skype is a software application used for making voice calls over the Internet and also allows a live view of the callers.
For him, it was nearly 8 p.m. For his mom, it was just after lunch Thursday.
He regularly checked in with his mom, knowing his girlfriend, Amber Waybright, was soon due with their baby. The doctor had induced labor and Waybright had just started pushing when Wallace called.
“The timing was perfect,” Waybright said.
Wallace’s mom set the computer up on a nearby dresser. Moments later, baby Tatum was born — a happy, healthy, seven-pound, two-ounce, 21-inch-long, chubby-cheeked little girl.
“She has her daddy’s chin, mouth and cheekbones,” Waybright said.
A nurse held Tatum’s hand up to the screen so Daddy could touch his baby girl.
“She’s so beautiful,” his family says he kept repeating.
Wallace may not have been able to watch Waybright grow or feel the baby move as the months passed while he was serving in Iraq, but if it weren’t for modern technology, he would have missed his baby girl’s first moments in this world.
Waybright said he can’t wait to get home and meet her.