Thursday, October 15, 2009
By Dan Kelly
- Abby Bennethum of Laureldale is pregnant with her third child.
She says she got pregnant back in June or July just before her husband, U.S. Army Reserve Staff Sgt. Brett Bennethum, deployed to Iraq with the 733rd Transportation Company, based in Reading.
"I've heard of deployment babies, but I never thought I'd be having one," Abby said.
If Abby's daughter Paige, who turned 4 last week, is any indication, Abby is going to have her hands full.
Abby was wrestling with her second daughter, Lena, 10 months, when I spoke to her.
Staff Sgt. Bennethum got a four-day pass just before the 733rd deployed in July, and Abby bundled the kids into the car drove down to Fort Dix, N.J., to pick him up and spend some quality time before he left for Iraq for a one-year tour of duty.
Staff Sgt. Bennethum and his men are transporting supplies and soldiers back and forth in Iraq.
Abby said she could tell me what part of Iraq her husband is in, but then she'd have to kill me.
When Abby and the kids got to the base, Staff Sgt. Bennethum unbelted Paige and lifted her out of the car. Almost immediately his commanding officer ordered the soldiers to fall in.
"Gotta go," Staff Sgt. Bennethum said as he joined his fellow soldiers in formation.
What he didn't realize was that Paige was hot on his heels.
When he got into formation, Paige grabbed onto his right hand and wouldn't let go.
"I called to her a couple of times, but she wouldn't budge," Abby said. "I don't know if the officers didn't see her because they were in the back row, or they simply didn't say anything about her being there."
"She just wouldn't let go of him," she said.
I'd like to think Staff Sgt. Bennethum's commanding officer saw Paige and decided that her being there was just fine.
Abby's third child is scheduled to arrive in March.
Staff Sgt. Bennethum will still be in Iraq.
It's going to be the first time he wasn't there for the birth of one of his children.
Abby said she's exploring video-conferencing and other options.
"I know some of the families are using Skype (an Internet-based video phone service) but I haven't been able to do anything like that because our computer isn't working right," Abby said.
So, if you're reading this on www.readingeagle.com, Staff Sgt. Bennethum, the girls say hello.
In Kelly's Korner, Dan Kelly writes about the people and personalities that make Berks County special. Contact him at 610-371-5040 or dkelly@ readingeagle.com.