Veteran Adopts Dog That Saved His Life

While serving in Afghanistan, Marine Byung “BK” Kang was a handler for an IED detection dog. Blue the black lab was specially trained to sniff out explosives and was BK’s partner from 2011 to 2012. He says the dog saved his life and the lives of his fellow soldiers so many times he lost count. “She found hundreds of IED's! She worked so hard to save so many of us. Sometimes we went on three patrols per day and by the time we’d get back we’re all exhausted because we’ve been walking miles and miles in over a hundred degrees of heat in Afghanistan. So, we did our best. Every chance, we tried to go out to possibly save the Marines and sailors. I told her, ‘What you’ve done for me and my guys over here in Afghanistan, we cannot pay back, So I’m going to give you a good home where you can cuddle all day, not worrying about going to war and finding bombs.’”

After his tour, Blue was reassigned and he lost track of her. He told his wife Wendy about Blue and what a special dog she was. Wendy was also a Marine and now works for a firm that supports the military so she has access to military records. It took her 2 years of searching but she finally found Blue! “I did everything in my power to make sure that we could get Blue home. After all the stories I’ve heard, I know for sure Blue is one of the reasons why BK is standing here with me and he’s alive.

They finally found Blue deployed in Japan. She was retired after 8 years of service to the nation and the Kang's were allowed to adopt her in 2018. Blue is living out her final years surrounded by love in the Kang's home in Lawrenceville GA. with their 2 kids. There's even 4 other dogs for her to play with. And now she's a finalist for the 2020 American Humane Hero Dog Awards. Good luck Blue!

“These working dogs, they will give up their life for us,” BK says. “So, we should be thankful to them and respect them and above all, trust the dog because dogs will not lie.”

Photo Courtesy of Byung Kang

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