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Seon-Ok Rah holds her new son William several hours after giving birth on New Year’s Day. Born at 12:38 a.m. at the 121st Combat Support Hospital Tuesday, William, 7 pounds, 5 ounces was the first member of the USFK community born this year.

Seon-Ok Rah holds her new son William several hours after giving birth on New Year’s Day. Born at 12:38 a.m. at the 121st Combat Support Hospital Tuesday, William, 7 pounds, 5 ounces was the first member of the USFK community born this year. (Jimmy Norris / S&S)

YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea — The first baby of the New Year joined the U.S. Forces Korea community at 12:38 a.m. on Tuesday at 121st Combat Support Hospital.

William Rah, the second son of Seon-ok and Sgt. Tae Rah, formerly of the Korea-based 524th Military Intelligence Battalion, weighed in at 7 pounds, 5 ounces and is 20 inches long. “I’m so happy,” said Seon-ok said of welcoming the New Year with a new baby.

Sgt. Rah, serving with the 223rd Military Intelligence Battalion in Afghanistan, said he received news of his child’s birth about three hours after it happened.

“It was greatest message I ever heard for the New Year and happiest New Year’s Day in my life,” he wrote in an e-mail to Stars and Stripes on Tuesday.

He said he knew that his deployment would mean he would miss the birth, but added, “serving [MY]country is what my first obligation is, as thousands of deployed soldiers are doing right now, away from home.” He said he should be seeing his son soon because unit leadership is working to send him home for two weeks. To help celebrate the first birth of the year, the Yongsan Post Exchange, the hospital’s Women and Infant Care Unit, and the Yongsan Commissary donated gift baskets that included food, toys and baby clothes.


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