LOGAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – U.S. Army Spc. Robert Purvis patiently waited in front of a computer and webcam at a Morale Welfare and Recreation center on Forward Operating Base Shank, Afghanistan, as his wife checked in at Labor and Delivery at Winn Army Community Hospital on Fort Stewart, Ga., May 13, 2013.
Purvis, a generator mechanic with Headquarters Support Company, 3rd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, and his wife of three years Shandel Purvis, 21, from Red Oak, Iowa, used Skype to stay connected during the arrival of their first son.
Ryan James was born Tuesday, May 14, 2013, at 1:10 a.m. Eastern, and weighed 7 pounds, 9 ounces, and is the baby brother of Khloe Michelle, the 10-month-old daughter of the couple.
A good friend of the couple, U.S. Army Spc. Brandon Lopez, a Coeur D'Alene, Idaho., native and a wheeled vehicle mechanic with HSC, said after Ryan was born, Robert was very happy when he came to their work area and was glad everything went well. "He's definitely a very proud father," added Lopez, who also has two children.
Spc. Purvis, 23, shared one of his recent memorable moments with his family.
"On my birthday, right before I left, my wife made me a card, but she made it as if my daughter did it," he said. Shandel put Khloe's handprint in it and wrote things as if it were from his daughter. "I thought that was pretty neat," the native of Effingham, Ga., added.
Purvis is responsible for fixing and maintaining his unit's equipment and is on his second combat tour with the Vanguard Brigade. He plans to continue to serve in the Army and retire, while always providing for his family.
Purvis said he can't wait to go home and reunite with his family, play with his daughter and hold Ryan for the very first time.