They have both done their duty for their country. Marine Sgt. David Tupper and Yaeger, a 7-year old black bomb-sniffing Labrador have both served their country in war-torn Afghanistan. At the McGuire Veterans Hospital in Richmond, Va, a friendship has blossomed between this former bomb-sniffing dog and a retired Marine.
Yaeger has completed two tours of duty in Afghanistan and one in Iraq and has sniffed out more than 100 improvised explosive devices. He has saved countless lives and has been awarded two Purple Heart Military Medals for his heroism.
Unfortunately, Yaeger’s handler, Lance Cpl. Abraham Tarwoe, was killed when a roadside bomb exploded in Afghanistan in April 2012. Yaeger was also injured by shrapnel and has the scars to tell the story. He took the loss of his handler very hard and at Tarwoe’s memorial service, he laid down beside the Marine’s cross and refused to leave.
Tupper is also recovering of his injuries sustained during combat in Afghanistan and that have left him wheelchair-bound.
Tupper and Yaeger are supporting each other through the long road back to health and for the past year they have been each other’s constant companion.
Tupper said, “ The day I went to receive him, he wouldn’t leave my side. He climbed into the passenger seat into my lap.”
Since that day Yeager has been Tupper’s helper in everyday life. “He helps me through the doors if it’s a tight squeeze. He’ll get on my lap if we’re going down a hill and kind of make sure I’m not going too fast. He gets worried. Recently, kayaking – when I’m doing flips – he gets real nervous and tries to get in the water to come to me.”
Tupper and Yaeger are showing each other the same loyalty as one Marine to another. This commitment is helping them heal both physically and emotionally.
“Semper Fi,” Tupper said, quoting the Marine Corps motto. “Always faithful. We pass that along.”
Article and Image source: MNN – Mother Nature Network