In the heat of combat, soldiers deployed abroad rely on more than just one another for their safety. For many it's not only advanced machinery that helps them survive, but also the help of service animals. Lance Cpl. Brad O'Keefe, a Marine who served in Afghanistan, is alive today thanks to his bomb-sniffing dog Earl.
Brad and Earl spent most of their time together during his 2010 deployment. During one of their patrols, Earl alerted and warned his companion that a bomb was near. And although the duo couldn't completely escape the bomb's blast, that warning thankfully saved Brad's life -- as well as the lives of 13 other men in his unit.
The two friends were separated after the blast due to Brad's injury. Little did Brad know, thanks to his sister's hard work and Facebook, they wouldn't be apart for long. Yup, cue up a whole lotta cuteness right about ... now.
Brad's sister went online, posting to Facebook on a mission to help her brother reunite with the pup that saved his life. Miraculously, she found him: Earl was serving as a police dog and belonged to a Rhode Island state trooper. After the trooper heard Brad's touching story, he gave him over to the man they all believed to be his rightful owner.
It's a touching story. It's magical, even. Another example of the power of Facebook, but even more so, the magic of a strong bond between man and animal. Today, Brad smiles with his faithful companion by his side. Today, the two are back together again.
Watch Brad and Earl's beautiful story, here:
How adorable is this?
Image via NBC