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(NEWSER) â€“ Nothing, it seems, was going to keep Francois Clerfe from witnessing the birth of his first child. On Dec. 30, Clerfe, a combat engineer in the US army, was at his post in Iraq. Ten flights and thousands of miles later, he was in a California hospital with his wife, Natalia Svistunova, on New Year's Day, arriving just in time to see his daughter born, reports Fox, which has a photo of the family. "Kuwait to Turkey, Turkey to Frankfurt, Frankfurt to Baltimore, Baltimore to Atlanta," Clerfe said of his trip, which eventually ended in Monterey.

The couple's daughter, Julia, wasn't due until January 9, but she arrived at 9:53am on New Year's Day, making her the first baby born at Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula in 2018. Clerfe will have a month to spend with his wife and new baby girl before he has to report back to his post in Iraq.

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