What would you do if you suddenly found out you were leaving, and your best friend was going to be left behind? What if that friend had four legs and a wagging tail? That’s exactly what happened to Army Specialist Ken Wyrsch. What was Wyrsch to do?
Wyrsch was in Iraq fighting alongside a Kurdish military outfit. His unit was informed that it was disbanding and they were shutting down the camp. One of his best buddies would be left behind. But as Wyrsch knows, “You don’t leave a friend behind, can’t do it.”
A month later, the Bay Area soldier was at San Francisco International Airport to reunite with his friend, and to take him home.
Ollie was a puppy when he was adopted as the camp’s unofficial mascot, and all the soldiers loved him. But to Wyrsch, it was a special relationship. He recognized the uniqueness of the shepherd mix, and valued his loyalty and morale-building capabilities.
“He was there when we left on our missions,” related Wyrsch, “he was there when we got back.” Ollie never went into battle with his army buddies, and that’s okay with Wyrsch. He knew that the dog was a lover and not a fighter.
He realized that if Ollie was left behind, he would face the harsh, cruel treatment animals receive in Iraq. He was afraid “some Iraqi would use him for target practice or something.”
Wyrsch couldn’t let that happen to his friend, so he decided to do something about it. That’s when he contacted SPCA International. And then a process started that helped Ollie make a trip halfway across the world …
... and into the waiting arms of his best buddy. They were both ecstatic to be reunited — for awhile it was hard to tell where Ollie started and Wyrsch stopped. “This right here was thousands and thousands of dollars of donations that went into this dog,” smiled Wyrsch. “He’s a good boy. He’s worth it.”
Ollie now begins his second great adventure: to become the lifelong friend of Army Specialist Ken Wyrsch, who believed in the impossible and made it come true. Because that’s what it means to do your duty.
Has this video touched your heart? Share it with your friends, and pass it along on Facebook. Most soldiers don’t want to bring much home from Iraq. This time, one soldier did.