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Published on January 18, 2007

Son's Birth and Bear's Win are Good Signs of Dad's Safety in Iraq

January 18, 2007

Only a few hours old, Patrick Ryan Finnigan Jr., gets a lot of love and attention from his mother, Kelly, and his grandparents, Greg and Karan Finnigan of DeKalb.

Only a few hours old, Patrick
Ryan Finnigan Jr., gets a lot of
love and attention from his
mother, Kelly, and his
grandparents, Greg and Karan
Finnigan of DeKalb. His dad,
Lance Cpl. Pat Finnigan, just got
his stay extended in Iraq and
won’t be home until June.

The Bears winning their first playoff game last Sunday is a good omen for the Finnigan family, who welcomed a new member to the family the day before.

Patrick Ryan Finnigan Jr. was born at 12:09 a.m. Jan. 13, at Kishwaukee Community Hospital.

His father, though, is far away from the celebration of his son’s birth and the Bears’ win. A Lance Corporal in the Marines Corps, Pat Finnigan, a 2004 DeKalb High School graduate, is in Anbar Province, Iraq.

He called his wife Jan. 11, to reluctantly tell her that his stay in Iraq had been extended. Expecting to come back to DeKalb the end of March, it now looks like June.

Mortar fire could be heard in the background. The call ended quickly. “Love, you, Babe, got to go,” he told his wife, Kelly.

Lance Cpl. Pat Finnigan“I cried and cried,” said Kelly. “He didn’t realize I was in the hospital at the time.” With her blood pressure high, the doctor felt it best to induce labor.

“He called back a half hour later, said there had been incoming fire, but he was OK,” she said.

Pat called again two days later, and got a big surprise. Patrick Ryan had just been born. “He lost it,” said his mother, Karan.

Karan and Greg Finnigan were at their daughter-in-law’s bedside throughout Kelly’s stay, anxiously awaiting the birth of their first grandbaby, and keeping Kelly spirits high amidst all the stress and worry. They also were keeping their fingers crossed that the Bears would win.

In 1985, when the Bears won their first Super Bowl, Greg, a former Marine himself, was stationed on an island in the Indian Ocean. “I remember getting up at 3 a.m. to watch the game.” That also was the year Pat was born.

“Now, the Bears need to win the Super Bowl again,” added Karan, one more good omen for her son’s safe return.

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