Marine Gets Home One Hour Before His Baby's Birth

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) -- The birth of a new baby is always a very special event for any family, but for one Region 8 family the word miracle has taken on a whole new meaning.

"I feel truly blessed because I never thought he would be home," said Mary Hannah Pulliam.

The past nine months have been difficult for Mary Hannah Pulliam as she was preparing for the birth of her baby.  Her husband Chris Pulliam is a marine and is on active duty in Iraq.

"The whole nine months everyone wanted to know if I would get home.  I knew I could get close to getting home on time, but was I actually going to make it," said Chris Pulliam.

"They were telling us he wasn't going to be home until Friday and I was thinking, 'Ok this baby's already a week overdue and he still hadn't been born,' and I was thinking he wasn't going to be here," said Mary Hannah Pulliam.

When she went into labor Tuesday night they knew the answer to that question was near.

"They got him on a plane within just a couple of hours and then he was here an hour before the baby was born," said Pulliam.

Gunner Ray Pulliam was born on Wednesday afternoon to a relieved mom and a grateful father.

"I can't tell you how blessed I am that he was actually here to experience this with me and see him for the first time," said Mary Hannah Pulliam.

"It was more important for her to me than anything but I'm sure Gunner will appreciate it and this little story we're going to be able to tell about how we made it on time," said Chris Pulliam.

Another reason this family is celebrating is because Chris doesn't have to go back to Iraq.  He gets to stay home with his family.

"He served two tours in Iraq and his six years of reserves is up in May so we're done.  We get to be a family.  A normal family," said Pulliam.

The Pulliam family will be going home from the hospital on Thursday.