When heroes get together, they can accomplish anything. This soldier thought he was just making friends with the local dogs during his time in Afghanistan, but they ended up saving his life. His sincere request after returning home will warm your heart.
Sergeant Chris Duke was on deployment when he discovered some stray dogs not too far from his home. He and his fellow soldiers bonded with the animals, seeing them as a source of comfort in a grim situation. These three dogs, named Sasha, Rufus, and Target, eventually became part of the team.
“You know, a lot of us used the three of them as kind of an escape…you know, whenever you’re homesick,” Chris explained to CBS. For these soldiers, the dogs were a reminder of their pets back home and of the love that was waiting for them when they returned.
Chris and his comrades were grateful for the dogs’ company, but they had no idea just how valuable it would be to them. These dogs ended up saving the lives of at least 50 soldiers.
One night, while everyone was asleep, the dogs started barking loudly. Chris and his company immediately woke up, and not a moment too soon. A suicide bomber had crept into the area, threatening to take out the 50 soldiers that were sleeping there.
Thanks to the dogs’ warning, the soldiers were able to react quickly. The bomber ended up killing himself before he was able to cause any harm to the other men. The soldiers were safe thanks to their canine companions.
“I firmly believe that I probably would not be here today if it weren’t for [the dogs],” Chris admitted. When it came down to it, these pups proved themselves to be true heroes.
Sasha was too injured to make it through the attack, but Rufus and Target were nursed back to health. When it was time for Chris to return home, he feared for fate of the dogs.
“I was really worried about the fact that the next unit may come in and not want them there,” he said. If the soldiers decided not to keep the dogs around, they would face a lot of hardships. Chris wanted a better life for the heroes who had rescued him, so he took action.
The soldier wrote to Hope for the Warriors, a veterans assistance group who believe that “those touched by military service can succeed at home by restoring their sense of self, family, and hope.” He wanted to bring the dogs home, and he thought this organization was his best chance.
“I owe my life to those dogs,” Chris pleaded, “and my wish is to bring them home and give them the best life I can.”
His request touched the heart of Robin Kelleher, the president of Hope for the Warriors. “This was going to mean a lot to him,” she observed. Robin vowed that the group would do “whatever we needed to do to get this wish done.”
The team set up a Facebook page, and in just a few months they raised $21,000 – enough to bring the dogs home. Chris was so grateful to have his heroes home with him at last, and now he is giving them the best life possible. His story has warmed the hearts of soldiers and civilians alike.
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