Technology is awesome. And not just because it helps us play Words With Friends on our phone when we’re bored at work. It also allowed Specialist Brock Howland to witness the birth of his son.

Howland is stationed in Afghanistan, and his pregnant wife Wendy is back home in Kalmazoo, MI. But thanks to the video messaging service Skype, Brock saw everything that happened in the delivery room when Wendy gave birth in a local hospital.

“Basically the whole time I could see Mary. I could see whomever was on the other side,” Howland explained. “It chokes me up. . . ‘Especially when he first came out and I saw him on Mary’s stomach, I lost it. I absolutely was in tears.”

Overall, it was a bittersweet experience for Howland. He said he was sad that he couldn’t be in the room to witness the birth, but happy his son had been born and he at least got to view him entering the world.

Congratulations, Brock! Now get home safe.