Deployed soldiers are surrounded by danger and have to be prepared to sacrifice everything at any second, however, for many, the hardest part is being away from home and everyone they love.
So when a stray pack dog in Iraq approached pilot Nick Pierzchalski and his fellow soldiers on their small base, they welcomed the companionship that reminded them of their own pets back home. “She was a part of a pack of dogs, and she came running up to us after a crew came off the flight line,” Nick said about the then months-old puppy that they named Airys.
“I didn’t do any leash training with her over there. But she would stay with us,” Nick said. “We all had pets at home. Just to bring a little slice of home to us over there, it was the world to us.” Over time, Nick became more and more attached to Airys, and filled out an eight-page application from SPCA International to see if he could bring her home with him.
After Nick finished his tour in Iraq, the SPCAI had handlers care for Airys, got her vaccinated, and then observed her for two months to make sure she would be able to handle being relocated. Once everything was approved, Airys was flown from Iraq to JFK International Airport in New York and then flown to Tampa earlier this month to be reunited with Nick. “I didn’t think it was going to happen,” Nick said. “She’s part of the family now.”
Watch the entire video below to see the incredible moment this hero is reunited with the dog he adopted while in Iraq.
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[Featured image: ABC Action News]