After years apart, a dozen marines have been reunited with the military dogs they served with in the Middle East. Twelve Marines and the war dogs they served with in the Middle East years ago have been reunited.
From the dog-training ground in North Carolina to war-torn Afghanistan, military working dogs and their handlers form an amazing bond. Man and canine provide critical professional and emotional support for one another, says K2 Solutions, Inc. CEO Lane Kellsen.
K2 Solutions provides training for Marines and their dogs.
The 12 dogs in question were a part of the Marine Corps’ discontinued Improvised Explosive Device Detector Dog (IDD) program. According to Kellsen, the US government recently gave the go signal for the last 12 war dogs from the program to be made available for adoption by their original Marine handlers.
“When I first got the call from K2 two weeks ago, I was super excited,” Sgt. Mark Slocum told ABC News. “I never thought I would see my buddy again. I was glad he was OK and even more excited I could adopt him.”
“The last time I saw him was in 2011,” he said. “While I was deployed to Afghanistan that year, I would stick with Tug and take him to search buildings and cars to check for anything suspicious and to make sure the roads are clear, so our platoon could get through safely.”
Slocum also credited the black Labrador for saving their lives.
“There was one day, we were searching for IEDs, and Tug found one and sniffed further and indicated there were homemade bomb explosive residue near the area,” he recalls. “We ended up crossing somewhere else. He saved the squad and prevented any more injuries.”
The Marine shared that because they “had no phone, computers, just the platoon,” Tug provided them their much-needed companionship.
“He was one of us,” Slocum said. “It’s weird now, because he wasn’t a pet before, but now he is, so I have to treat him like a puppy and teach him how to be a normal indoor dog.”
Sgt. Chris Jaramillo also reunited with his war dog, Shooter, on the same day. The former partners had been apart for nine years.
“It’s like winning the lottery,” Jaramillo said with a laugh. “Life’s complete. I got my buddy back.”
Source: ABC News