Less than one year after tying the knot, Britt Harris and her husband, Chris, found themselves thousands of miles apart.
Chris, a specialist in the army, was deployed to Afghanistan in early July.
Around that same time, Britt found out she was expecting the couple’s first child.
To reveal the news, she crafted up a sweet onesie that said, “Chris, you’re going to be a dad!” and then surprised her husband over FaceTime.
“When I told him, it was the happiest I’d ever seen him,” Britt says. “He was so excited.”
Just one week later, Chris was killed by a suicide bomber in Afghanistan.
Britt’s world came crashing down around her. Still, she had a little piece of her husband that no one else yet has.
Growing inside her, right below her heart, is a precious little gift, and a living piece of Chris.
Though she’s now beginning to navigate the uncertain future of raising their child without her husband, Britt is certain she will not be doing it alone.
Chris was a member of the 2nd Battalion, 504th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, based in Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
Britt says her husband, an only child himself, called his fellow soldiers “brothers.”
“They were his family,” she said. “Everyone that I’ve met, before Chris passed and after, if they’re in the military, they’ve treated me like actual family.”
Britt wants to keep their “family” close, even now that Chris is gone. These brothers have been there for her every step of the way, and she knows they will be for the rest of their lives.
“They have been phenomenal and done everything they can to watch over me even from a distance,” she says.
So Britt decided to let them in on a little secret: the gender of her baby.
“I asked if they’d like to be the first to know the gender and they were really excited,” she said. “I told them I would ship confetti poppers or something and they could be the first to know and feel included.”
Chris’ brothers uploaded a video of their personal gender reveal to YouTube:
They included a message that reads:
“August 2, 2017, Chris Harris laid down his life for our country. His newlywed wife was expecting their first child. The reveal is in Afghanistan with the men who fought by his side. We are happy to welcome the new member of our company.”
Britt says the video left her in a puddle of joyful tears.
“I probably watched it 100 times myself,” she said of the video. “I was crying but smiling because their reaction was so wonderful.”
Chris and Britt’s little miracle, Christian Michelle Harris, is expected to make her grand entrance in March of 2018.