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Okinawa welcomes first Pacific baby of ’09

Kaira Renée Andrews was the first baby of 2009 born at U.S. Naval Hospital Okinawa on Camp Lester.

BRIAN DAVIS/COURTESY OF THE U.S. NAVY

By CINDY FISHER | STARS AND STRIPES Published: January 4, 2009

CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — Having the first baby of the new year isn’t a competition expectant mothers are too concerned with as they labor through New Year’s Eve and into New Year’s Day.

Not when the real prize is their new baby.

Air Force Staff Sgt. Daniel Andrews and his wife Staci were no different when they welcomed the birth of their daughter Kaira Renée Andrews at 4:32 a.m. Thursday at U.S. Naval Hospital Okinawa, making Kaira the first baby of 2009 born at a military hospital in the Pacific.

At 21 inches long, she weighed in at 9 pounds, 7.3 ounces and is the couple’s third child, joining brothers Quinn, 9, and Corbin, 5.

Staci Andrews didn’t seem too impressed that Kaira entered the world holding the first-born-in-2009 distinction, hospital spokesman Brian Davis said Friday. But the couple is a little surprised by all the attention they’re getting, he said. For hospitals, that first New Year’s baby is a big deal, Davis said.

"We turn out a hundred babies a month, and the first baby — it’s kind of a hospital tradition for any hospital that’s in the business of delivering babies," he said.

The hospital plans to hold a recognition ceremony for the Andrews family later this month, Davis said. During the ceremony, the family will receive a gift basket that includes diapers, quilts and other items donated by local military organizations.

On Guam, the first military family baby of the year was born at 8:25 a.m. Thursday to a construction mechanic and his wife, according to a Navy spokeswoman on the island. Abigail Vieira weighed 7 pounds, 12 ounces and was 20 inches long. The proud parents are Petty Officer Second Class Mark Vieira and Cherie Vieira, according to spokeswoman Coleen R. San Nicolas-Perez. Vieira is assigned to the Mobile Expeditionary Security Squadron 7 at Guam Naval Base.

In South Korea, a New Year’s Day baby was born at 4:44 p.m. at Brian Allgood Army Community Hospital on U.S. Army Garrison Yongsan. Kai Leo Ledezma Santos arrived weighing in at 7 pounds, 2 ounces and was 20.9 inches long. He was born to Alexandra and Spc. Joshua Santos, with the 249th Military Police Detachment.

Mainland Japan’s first military baby of the year was born at the Yokosuka Naval Base hospital.

Davian Patton was born at 8:08 p.m. New Year’s Day, arriving at 21.7 inches long and weighing 8 pounds, 10 ounces. His mother is Petty Officer 2nd Class Bickiana Patton, who is assigned to the hospital, and his father is Petty Officer 2nd Class Dawayne Patton, of the USS McCampbell.

Stars and Stripes reporters Teri Weaver, Jimmy Norris and Erik Slavin contributed to this report.