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Soldier Forced Leave His Canine Partner Behind In Afghanistan Refuses To Give Up Until He’s Home

A special bond can go a long way toward helping you through a harrowing experience. Knowing you have someone to lean on can mean a world of difference, which was especially true for one Marine serving in Afghanistan.
The Marine, who goes by the user name SweepTheLegsJohnny on Imgur, spent a lot of time in the Middle East, but his third tour of duty stood out from the rest. During this tour, he met Austin, a Labrador retriever who was trained to sniff out improvised explosive devices.

Together, they saved countless lives by finding and deactivating dangerous roadside bombs. However, the tour eventually ended, and the <arine returned home without his trusted partner. He had no idea if he’d ever reunite with his military buddy again…
When Austin and the Marine first met, it took a little while for them to trust each other. Considering their line of work, trust was of the utmost importance. Danger was never very far away…

Not just any Marine was equipped to take on this type of mission. Being paired with an animal was always risky, but Austin was trained by some of the best military personnel in the world, and he knew exactly what he was doing.
For most of the Marine’s deployment, he was tasked with bettering the lives of  disadvantaged people—mostly women and children—who lived in the area. It was frequently an uphill battle, but he knew he could always trust in Austin to lend a helping paw.
Every single day was a struggle. The Marines were operating in the opium capital of the world, and crime was occurring around every corner. There was no telling when a deadly firefight would suddenly break out.

Luckily, some days were easier than others. Oftentimes, the only task assigned to the pair was to help provide security for schools and villages. This meant standing guard outside entrances to ensure no one dangerous trespassed on the premise.
Other times, though, Austin and his Marine partner had far more dangerous tasks, as they were on the front lines to help protect nearby cities from incoming enemy attacks. In the end, this work helped them form an unbreakable bond…
As you can imagine, the day-to-day routines of the troops were grueling. They never knew what they were going to face every morning when they woke up, but Austin was always there to help his Marine buddy through the hardest of times.
Even though it was difficult to find moments of humor in their jobs, Austin was often the cause of a lot of smiles, and his Marine partner always appreciated every one of them. Imagining life without each other was almost unthinkable.
After all, the pair learned to place the entirety of their trust in each other, and that was why they were so successful at their job. It wasn’t just that they’d become so close; it was that this closeness was what made them efficient soldiers.

Even though Austin was trained to deal with the most intense and violent of situations, he always had a huge smile on his face. He also loved the attention he received from the children who lived in the villages, which made his Marine pal happy to see each time.
The Marine couldn’t have been more proud of his canine companion. But soon, the prospect of their separation began to loom on the horizon. Clearly, it wasn’t something he wanted to think about…
Days quickly turned into weeks overseas. Everything became somewhat of a blur. Spending so much time in the same place and dealing with such hazardous situations made military tours fly by without much thought. Before anyone knew it, the time had come.
Eventually, the Marine’s tour came to an end. While he was more than thrilled to return home, staying in a place like Afghanistan for so long would take a toll on any soldier. Making matters worse: Austin wasn’t coming with him. The pup was going to stay behind and continue his work.
The Marine, although pleased to return home, was heartbroken that he’d left his furry friend behind. They’d been through so much together, and the Marine knew the pair couldn’t stay apart forever.

Several years passed, but the Marine still couldn’t stop thinking about his partner. He made a few attempts to locate him, but nothing panned out. However, after posting some pictures to Imgur, an outpouring of support helped him to finally find Austin!
Soon enough, the Marine had put in all the required adoption paperwork, and following several months of legwork from him and a few helpful animal organizations, he flew out to pick up his best friend! Austin even got his own seat on the plane!

The Marine was thrilled to finally reunite with his trusted partner after years apart, and Austin was equally as happy to join forces yet again with his human friend. One thing’s for sure: these two were meant to be together! Thank goodness they were finally reunited.
It didn’t matter that Austin was a dog; this Marine knew how special he was, and he refused to let time or distance prevent them from finally reuniting again.

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