BENSENVILLE – During his five-year service in the U.S. Army, veteran Greg Bacon’s worst fear was being deployed – not because of the impending danger a tour in Iraq might bring, but becaise of what he might miss back home.
“It would be my luck that she would be pregnant and I would be called to deploy,” Bacon said. “It happened. My worst fears came true.”
About three years later, Bacon is home for good, and what started as his worst fear transformed into Bacon’s ticket to the Super Bowl – well, pretty close.
Greg witnessed the birth of now 3-year-old Dean via Skype, and the entire country saw it last Sunday during Microsoft’s “Empowering Us All” Super Bowl commercial.
“I didn’t think it was going to be such a big hit,” Greg said of the commercial that was ranked No. 8 on USA Today’s Ad Meter.
The Bacons actually missed the live debut of the commercial during the game’s fourth quarter. When they watched it on their DVR, it was the first time they’d seen it after months of mystery.
“I thought it was such a beautiful commercial, what they did,” said Greg’s wife, Jennifer.
The family was sworn to secrecy and couldn’t tell anyone about the commercial. They also weren’t sure exactly what it would look like when it was all done, but Greg told friends and family they just needed to watch the Super Bowl.
Greg said he’s not solely a Microsoft supporter and owns Apple products as well, but he really believes in the commercial’s message about how technology empowers people.
“It’s that question – how does technology unite us?” he said. “Then you see my clip.”
That clip was taken from a story done by WGN at Alexian Brothers Medical Center in Elk Grove Village.
Greg and Jennifer spent her pregnancy searching for some way to let Greg witness Dean’s birth. Jennifer was living on post in Missouri with a handful of other mothers-to-be, but moved back home because the post hospital didn’t have Internet. Without it, Greg wouldn’t be with her in the delivery room.
She finally found Karen Moore, director of Women & Infant Services at Alexian Brothers, who thought the Skype birth was a wonderful idea. WGN got wind of the story and the couple agreed to be interviewed.
“Actually I didn’t know they were going in the OR with me until they were suiting up,” said Jennifer. But she’s glad she didn’t protest.
Doctors thought Dean was much bigger than he actually was and scheduled a C section the week Jennifer was due for May 4, Greg’s birthday.
The Army Corporal spent the entire day staring at his watch and dreading a spotty Internet connection.
“I was rocking in my chair because of how nervous I was,” he said. “A lot of times I don’t get that way.”
The nervous dad waited three months to hold Dean for the first time and another six before he came home for good. He and Jennifer are most thankful for the opportunity Alexian Brothers gave them to experience the birth of their first child together, even with 6,000 miles between them.
The WGN feature wasn’t about stardom, either. Greg thought the TV interview and now the Microsoft commercial offer encouragement to other military families.
“I felt the greatest thing about that shoot was it gives a sense and a hope to other service members that they don’t have to ... miss a birth,” Greg said.
Greg now works nights as a security supervisor at Holy Family Hospital in Des Plaines, and Dean is a big brother to 16-month-old Christopher.
“I don’t want him to miss out on any more memories,” Jennifer said.