ST. LOUIS, MO (KPLR)-- After seven months in the Middle East on active duty, a group of firefighters with the Illinois Air National Guard is back home again. The joyous welcome at Lambert Field Friday was particularly moving for two guard members. Each one had a new born son to meet for the first time.
Staff Sergeants Daniel Mersinger of O'Fallon, IL and Adam Ibrahim of Chicago were both able to use skype to talk to their wives during their sons' deliveries. But judging from the smiles on their faces, there is nothing like holding their sons for the first time.
Sgt. Ibrahim had received pictures of his son Adam Junior but admitted, "I wanted to check him out in real life, give him a once over." He paused, looking into his son's eyes and said, "It's worth it to come home." His baby was born February 29. His wife Jackie Ibrahim said their daughter turned one year old the week her brother was born. "It was hard.. but it was nice to be able to Skype with him during the delivery but it was definitely not anything I'd recommend to anybody." she said.
Easton Mersinger was born December 21. He was wearing a tee shirt sporting the message: "I'm the present my daddy gave my mommy before he was deployed." The Mersingers have two older daughters. They surprised their oldest, second grader Makayla by showing up at her school, LaVerna Evans Elementary in O'Fallon, on their way home from the airport.
Sgt. Mersinger plans to take them to Six Flags Saturday. "It's gonna be a fun family day," he said with a grin.
The firefighters are part of the Illinois Air National Guard's 126th Refueling Wing based at Scott Air Force Base.