They say that dogs can be a great companion when we’re lonely.
Sgt. Chris Duke and his fellow soldiers had three stray dogs that kept them from being homesick. Sasha, Target, and Rufus were three stray dogs they befriended. They made the soldiers feel at home in such a dangerous place.
“A lot of us used the three of them as a kind of an escape, you know, whenever you’re homesick,” said Duke when asked about the stray dogs. Among the three of them, Duke was particularly close to Rufus. Their friendship with the dogs as well as the locals made their stay there a bit normal.
One day, a suicide bomber attempted to go inside Duke’s barracks to blow it up. The three stray dogs barked at the intruder and bit the intruder. The suicide bomber blew himself up before reaching the barracks, thanks to our three heroes. Fifty soldiers could’ve been dead or injured if they weren’t there.
Sasha was severely wounded and had to be put down. A month later, Duke returned to his home while the two dogs were left in the barracks. Although he had someone to look after the dogs, Duke was still worried about their welfare. He’s worried that the next group of soldiers may not want them there anymore.
Duke wrote a letter to a Veterans Assistance group called Hope for the Warriors and said: “I owe my life to those dogs and my wish is to bring them home and give them the best life I can”. It was the first time that the organization received such kind of request and they understood it meant a lot for the soldier. They promised to do what is needed to be done to fulfill the soldier’s plea.
Other organizations heard the story, and the Hope for the Warriors created a Facebook page. After three months, the group accumulated 21 thousand dollars. Duke and his wife met the two dogs, and they adopted Rufus. On the other hand, Target is now living with another soldier in Arizona.