Sunday, March 16, 2014

Navy Team Aims to Bring Two Puppies Home from Afghanistan, Seeks Financial Support

There are currently around 38,000 U.S. military members still serving in Afghanistan. The long tour that these soldiers make can take a serious toll on their psychological well-being, leaving many longing for home, or coming home with conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Some soldiers find comfort and happiness comes with a wagging tail, as they adopt local dogs who end up lifting their spirits and becoming part of their family away from home. Problem is, when it's time to go home, many of them have to walk away from that best friend.

Members of the New York National Guard are reunited with eight
mixed breed dogs that they found while on patrol in
 Afghanistan earlier this year. AP Photo
"One of our programs, the Mission No Buddy Left Behind program, aims to help bring these dogs home along with the soldiers," explains Dori Scofield, vice president of Guardians of Rescue, an animal welfare organization. "We realize the important role these dogs play in the lives and well-being of the soldiers who are fighting for our freedom."

Currently, Guardians of Rescue have joined with a Navy team in an effort to help them bring two dogs back to America with them. The dogs, adopted by the soldiers as puppies, have grown to become part of their family there. They have provided the soldiers with companionship, have learned commands and tricks, and have made them feel welcome each day when they come back from their operations.

As the soldiers return home to the San Diego area, they wish to bring the two dogs, Logar and Falcor, home with them. Yet that comes with a price tag of $6,000, which they are seeking public donations for. Once funds have been raised, the dogs will first be sent to Washington to live with the soldier's parents. Once the soldier, Sam Landoe, returns back home to San Diego he will take the dogs to live with him.

"We desperately want to do this for our soldiers, as it's really helping both the dogs and the soldiers," added Scofield. "But we can't do it without the help of the public. There are fees involved in bringing the dogs across the globe. If just 600 people donated $10 each we could make this a successful mission."

The first dog the soldiers acquired was a result of meeting a village elder who had a puppy that was skinny, dirty, hungry, and matted. The soldier traded scrap wood for the dog. Once they had the first one, the second one, in much the same condition, was brought to them. It didn't take long before the dogs were great friends and they helped create a bond with the soldiers who cared for them.

"I can't imagine what will become of these dogs that we love so much if we can't bring them home," explained Sam Landoe, a Navy special operator second class. "We are just hoping that we can get the support we need to bring them home with us. They have been an important part of our tour here and we want to keep them a part of our lives."

Guardians of Rescue provides assistance to animals out on the streets, helping to rescue them, provide medical care, food and shelter, and find foster home placement. Many families are still struggling to recover from the storm, making it difficult to care for their pet, either financially or while living in temporary housing. To learn more, or to make a donation to support the Guardians of Rescue, log onto

About Guardians of Rescue
Based in New York, Guardians of Rescue is an organization whose mission is to protect the well being of all animals. They provide aid to animals in distress, including facilitating foster programs, rehabilitation, assisting other rescue groups, and providing support to families, both military and not, who need assistance due to economic factors. To learn more about Guardians of Rescue, visit the site at

CBS News. How many U.S. Troops are still in Afghanistan? January 2014. <>

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