Soldier Reunited with the Dog Who Saved His Life
After a dog named Rufus helped fend off a suicide bomber, Sgt. Chris Duke decided to bring him home.
While Sgt. Chris Duke, a National Guardsman, was serving in Afghanistan, he and his fellow troops made good friends with a few of the stray dogs, who the soldiers named Sasha, Target, and Rufus. So when the dogs had a chance to defend the soldiers, they didn’t back down.
One February night, an insurgent covered in explosives tried to enter the soldiers’ quarters to kill the 50 men inside. But he didn’t count on the dogs: the three strays began barking and biting the suicide bomber, trying to keep him from harming the people inside. When his explosives detonated, he was killed, but all of the American troops remained safe.
Sadly, one of the dogs, Sasha, was severely injured by the bomb, and had to be euthanized. But both Rufus and Target survived the assault, and were celebrated as heroes by the soldiers they had saved.
When Duke finished his tour of duty and returned home the following month, he wanted to bring his loyal friend Rufus along—but military regulations wouldn’t allow it. So, after returning to Atlanta, Duke wrote to a veterans’ assistance group, Hope for the Warriors, asking for their help to bring the two dogs overseas.
“This was going to mean a lot to him,” the group’s president, Robin Kelleher, told CBS. “So whatever we needed to do to get this wish done we were going to do that.” Another grassroots group, launched on Facebook, raised over $21,000 to pay for the dogs to be flown to the United States.
Now, Target has been transported to Arizona to live with another soldier, and Rufus has just arrived in Atlanta, where he’ll live out the rest of his days with Duke and his family. Duke is thrilled to make the commitment to care for Rufus for the rest of his life—in his eyes, it’s the least he could do for his furry friend.
“I firmly believe I wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for him,” he said.
Check out the video.
Filed under: Animals and Pets, Heroes,
Liked this? You'll love these, too:
Amazing Heroes of the United States Military
In honor of this Veterans' Day, we're sharing a few of our favorite stories of heroic individuals in the United States military. Read More
4 Ways to Give Homeless Pets a Chance at Happiness
Even if you're not ready to adopt a rescue animal, there are many ways you can help shelter dogs, cats, and other animals that don't require huge commitments. Here are a few options. Read More
Positive Stories from the Aurora, Colorado Movie Theater Shooting Tragedy
Here are a few signs of hope to come out of the tragic shooting at "Batman Rises" in Aurora, Colorado. Read More
Tim’s Place: The Restaurant that Serves Breakfast with a Side of Hugs
Tim Harris, a young man with Down's syndrome, hasn't let his disability stop him from opening a restaurant in New Mexico. Read More
Soldier’s Lifesaving Parachute Transformed to Wedding Dress for His Bride
After using a parachute to survive a plane crash, Claude Hensinger gave the chute to his future bride to be used as a wedding dress. Read More
To our free daily newsletter, featuring good news from around the world, exclusive interviews with changemakers, guest columns, and subscriber-only weekly giveaways and special offers. Your privacy is secure with us, we will never spam you or sell your email address. Enter your email address below or click here to learn more about what you will receive.
- Stanislav Petrov: The Man Who Saved the World by Doing Nothing
- Miracle Fruit Makes (Almost) Everything Delicious
- Hachiko: The World’s Most Loyal Dog
- Liam Hoekstra, Superbaby: Toddler Born with Superhuman Strength
- Mugging Attempt Gets Thwarted by Real-Life Ninjas