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thedrifter
04-22-06, 09:47 AM
Posted on Sat, Apr. 22, 2006
Marine greeted at the airport by his new son
By CAREN PENLAND
STAR-TELEGRAM STAFF WRITER

DFW AIRPORT -- The two-hour plane ride from Phoenix to Dallas was the longest trip of Parker Consaul IV's life. He was on edge, literally bouncing in his seat with excitement.

When he stepped off the plane and passed security, it would be the first time the 27-year-old Marine would see his son, who was born on March 18 while Consaul was stationed in Haditha -- a military base in the Al Anbar province of Iraq, about 100 miles northwest of Baghdad.

His family -- his parents, his wife, Andrea, 25, and his son, Parker Consaul V -- waited eagerly Thursday night on the other side of the security glass near a baggage claim area. Andrea made jokes about how her husband had called her in the emergency room via satellite telephone while she was in labor.

"He called like four or five times, and I kept telling him, 'Can't talk now -- having a baby,'" she said, laughing, while she rocked Parker in his stroller and repeatedly checked her watch.

And then, finally, passengers of America West flight 548 began to file through the security door. Spotting her husband, Andrea ran through the crowd to meet him with open arms. The couple kissed and hugged for the first time in seven months while other passengers clapped.

Then Andrea led her husband over to the stroller and picked up Parker.

"This is your son," she said, handing the wide-eyed baby to her husband.

"Hey there, little guy. I'm your daddy," Consaul said and kissed his son's forehead.

Parker smiled and touched his father's face with his tiny hands.

Other passengers congratulated the Marine on becoming a father and thanked him for his service to his country.

Consaul returned from Iraq to his home base in Twentynine Palms, Calif., late Tuesday and took a day to recover from the long journey before heading to Dallas-Fort Worth where his wife is staying with relatives in Benbrook. His parents live in Fort Worth and also met him at the airport.

Consaul, a first lieutenant and a tank platoon commander, joined the Marines in 2004. He was deployed to Iraq on Sept. 20 for his first tour of duty there. His unit was stationed in Haditha to patrol the area and present a show of force, he said.

He knew his wife was pregnant when he left the country and that he would miss the birth of his son. But it was a sacrifice he was willing to make, he said.

Besides, he and his platoon members still smoked cigars for the occasion.

As for what he plans to do in town before he returns to California with his family: "I'm going to stare at the kid for four days straight. This is so freaking awesome."

http://www.mercurynews.com/images/dfw/startelegram/news/2039156-841553.jpg

STAR-TELEGRAM/RAUL VASQUEZ
Parker Consaul IV meets his 4-week-old son, Parker Consaul V, for the first time at DFW airport. Consaul was stationed in Haditha -- a military base in the Al Anbar province of Iraq.

Ellie