Soldiers' Reunion With Rescued Dogs Will Melt Your Heart (VIDEO)

soldier and dogThere's nothing like a happy story to end the week! And it doesn't get much happier than adorable puppies and smiling soldiers, does it? Welcome to the hap, hap, happiest thing you will read all day, courtesy of a non-profit that filled New York's John F. Kennedy Airport yesterday with a pile of pooches fresh off an airplane from Afghanistan and the troops who adore them. Who wants to bet that more than some canine lives were saved yesterday?

Coming home for our troops is a joyful experience. But it's a tough one too, and our tendency to say "wahooo, they're home!" isn't giving these servicemen and women enough. They need us to show we still care about them here too.


By some estimates, a third of the men and women who have served our country in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001 have returned with post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, or traumatic brain injury. Sadly the same report that came up with that statistic says only about half of these brave folks receive treatment, and that number includes people who get the bare minimum.

But what happened yesterday in New York was something that lifted at least one group of soldiers up in a meaningful, long-lasting way. Pets have been scientifically proven to help a person with depression, to relieve loneliness, help you sleep, provide you with unconditional love. And in this case, the soldiers know they're not just getting something special but they're giving it back by rescuing these animals.

Nowzad is a group started by Pen Farthing, a former British Royal Marine, after he broke up a dogfighting ring while serving in Afghanistan. He knows firsthand what the need is for the animals. As the charity explains:

The life of Afghan animals is not one of comfort at the best of times; most of the day is spent hunting for scraps of food or hiding from the hot desert sun during the summer or the freezing cold of a desert winter night. There is definitely no pampered pet status in Afghanistan.

Getting American Airlines to donate the cost of flying the 14 dogs in and setting up the whole meeting makes Pen a hero to our country, don't you think? Check out the soldiers with their furry friends ... I guarantee it will help you make up your mind!



Image via CBS

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