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Navy team brings canines back from Afghanistan

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Although there was a promise to bring home our troops from the Middle East, there are currently around 38,000 United States military personnel still serving in Afghanistan. As with any war, the longevity of it tends to take a serious toll on the psychological and emotional well-being of the soldiers that are deployed. All many of them can think about is coming home. Many do with the added tension caused by PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).

Thankfully some of the soldiers have found comfort that unconditional love tends to doll out. That unconditional love comes from four-legged, tail-wagging, tongue-licking furballs called canines.

More and more soldiers are adopting local dogs that help to life their spirits and become their home away from home. This is all fine and dandy when they are still stationed abroad, but can become an issue when it is time for the soldiers to return home. They do not want to stay, but they certainly do not want to leave their best friends behind!

The Guardians of Rescue (GoR) do not want them to leave their canine friends behind either. “One of our programs, the Mission No Buddy Left Behind program, aims to help bring these dogs home along with the soldiers,” explains Dori Scofield, vice president of Guardians of Rescue, an animal welfare organization. “We realize the important role these dogs play in the lives and well-being of the soldiers who are fighting for our freedom.”

Because they care, GoR has joined with a Navy team in an effort to help them bring two dogs back to America with them. The dogs, adopted by the soldiers as puppies, have grown to become part of their family there. They have provided the soldiers with companionship, have learned commands and tricks, and have made them feel welcome each day when they come back from their operations.

As the soldiers return home to the San Diego area, they wish to bring the two dogs, Logar and Falcor, home with them. Yet that comes with a price tag of $6,000, which they are seeking public donations for. Once funds have been raised, the dogs will first be sent to Washington to live with the soldier’s parents. Once the soldier, Sam Landoe, returns back home to San Diego he will take the dogs to live with him.

“We desperately want to do this for our soldiers, as it’s really helping both the dogs and the soldiers,” added Scofield. “But we can’t do it without the help of the public. There are fees involved in bringing the dogs across the globe. If just 600 people donated $10 each we could make this a successful mission.”

The soldiers adopted the first of the two dogs when they met a village elder who had a puppy that was skinny, dirty, hungry, and matted. The soldiers traded scrap wood for the dog. Once they had the first one, the second one, in much the same condition, was brought to them. It didn’t take long before the dogs were great friends and they helped create a bond with the soldiers who cared for them.

“I can’t imagine what will become of these dogs that we love so much if we can’t bring them home,” explained Sam Landoe, a Navy special operator second class. “We are just hoping that we can get the support we need to bring them home with us. They have been an important part of our tour here and we want to keep them a part of our lives.”

The Guardians of Rescue provide assistance in situations such as this. They do so based on donations received from the public as they are a non-profit, 501 (c)(3) organization. If you would like to make a donation to support the Guardians of Rescue, log onto www.guardiansofrescue.org.

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