They could make him leave the country but they couldn’t keep them apart.
When you’re deployed for duty, you can always bring back traumatic memories or some scars from the battlefield. But sometimes, you can also bring home a friend.
American soldier Ken Wyrsch met a lot of new faces when deployed in Iraq.
He was stationed there to work with Kurdish soldiers. Any time they had an objective, they would do it together.
While there, Ken and the other soldiers befriended a dog named Ollie.
Ollie provided the unit with some much-needed comfort and companionship. You know, just the thing dogs are good at.
PTSD is very common in soldiers returning from duty. War changes a person for good, and not always for the better. On the other hand, dogs also change you for good, and it’s usually for the better.
Ollie was a blessing during a time of sacrifice – and one that Ken wouldn’t forget.
When it was time to pack up and return to their homes, Ken realized he’d have to say goodbye to Ollie.
And he didn’t want to.
He’d grown far too attached to the loyal mutt, and that high-tension zone in Iraq wasn’t safe for a dog.
Ken had heard that plans were underway to cull the dog population there.
In his own words, he feared that Ollie would end up being used for “target practice” by Iraqi gunmen.
That wasn’t the fate he wanted to leave Ollie too.
But getting Ollie out of Iraq and into his home was way easier said than done.
So Ken approached the SPCA to plea for Ollie’s transport out of the country.
He knew he’d never be able to do it by himself, and the SPCA couldn’t refuse a plea from a U.S. veteran.
The plea was a success, and money was raised to pay for Ollie’s flight from there to the United States.
It wasn’t cheap to get Ollie out of there. It took thousands of dollars in donations – all for a dog.
Well, now he won’t have to lose sleep anymore. The plane took Ollie out of Iraq and flew thousands of miles to the U.S. where he was reunited with Ken.
And Ken couldn’t have been happier to see his old friend.
Ollie had stayed by Ken’s side even in the middle of danger. The loyal mutt was there to lend a kiss and a soft paw whenever Ken and his unit were overwhelmed by the stress of their service.
And now Ken could return the favor.
He’ll get the chance to give Ollie the best life he can give him.
Ollie might not even have an idea how lucky he that Ken did all of that. But it hardly matters now.
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