A war veteran was seriously injured while performing his duty in Afghanistan. He was flown back home without his combat dog, which devastated him.

Army Specialist, Josh Tucker discussed how he trained the dog for years, how they fought the war together, and how they both simply hit it off as work partners and friends. Then he recalled how he got hurt while on duty and had to be sent home, and separated from his dog.

Tucker’s dog was an English female Labrador, named Ellen. She specialized in searching and sniffing bombs. They were part of the frontline forces from 2010 to 2011, whose mission was to search improvised explosive devices (IED) and caches. Ellen continued working, while Tucker had to go through medical procedures for a head injury and post-traumatic stress disorder.

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Sherie, Tucker’s wife, says that Tucker missed Ellen desperately. He often talked about how he wasn’t even able to say goodbye. Then the couple learned that Ellen was not in active duty because she wasn’t bonding with her new handler. An idea sparked in their minds: they could adopt Ellen.

The Tuckers sought the help of their Arizona representative, Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema, in requesting the Army to allow them to adopt the dog. It took a while, and they were even denied. But, their persistence paid off. Six months later, Specialist Tucker was reunited with Ellen. Both needed therapy, and each other’s friendship.