Florida Soldier Reunited with Warzone Dog

By: Kimberly Kuizon Email
By: Kimberly Kuizon Email

ST. PETERSBURG, FL 10/25/2011 --

It was an extremely-long journey for one dog who made his way from Kuwait to the United States, and he couldn't have done it without the help of one very-grateful National Guardsman from Florida.

Thousands of miles away from home serving in Kuwait Sergeant Mark Stanhope met Steve, a dog that made a war zone seem a little bit like home.

"It was just something to distract you from you mission and stuff like that to where you could just forget about your troubles and just like do what you do back in America," said Stanhope.

One night Steve got attacked by another animal; some said he would have to be put down but Stanhope knew there was another option.

"A lot of people said we should try to adopt him, but there were so many hoops to jump through."

Sergeant Stanhope decided he would jump through those hoops; he formed the group friends of Steve and with the help of fundraisers raised 18 hundred dollars to bring Steve to America.

"We just think Steve is like our refugee that we liberated and brought back to America. He served plenty of duty over there helping out all the soldiers for 2, 3 years," said Stanhope.

Steve arrived in the U.S. first; the Sergeant came months later, and now the two are reunited.

"It's something that lives on, it's not just a souvenir that you put in a photo album, it's a living sample of what we do for other people and other animals. It's showing we care. It just made them more human as opposed to worrying about the war effort."

And looking at Steve will always be a reminder of why the Sergeant Stanhope chose to serve his country.

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  • by Milly Location: Florida on Oct 26, 2011 at 03:55 PM
    Yes, it is sad that dogs are being euthanized in the US daily. It is also sad what the dogs in the war zone go through. These dogs make life bearable for the soldiers and gives them a touch of home. It is only natural when their tour is over that they don't want to leave those dogs behind and wonder every day what happened to them. This is a great story and if anyone else wants a dog brought home the Puppy Rescue Mission or Nowzad raises funds to help the soldiers do that. They both have FaceBook pages. Welcome to the US Steve! Glad to have you! The Military Channel has a show called No Dog Left Behind. It will be airing again (I think) November 11. It is a really great show and shows the soldiers and dogs and even cats bonds. These animals are really important to them and make a positive difference in their lives.
  • by Anonymous on Oct 25, 2011 at 05:37 PM
    Now they will have to put another adoptable dog to sleep. Yes, it is heartwarming....unless you go look in the freezers at the animal service center. It reminds me of all the people who adopt children from Russia, Ukrain, or China because it is easier to adopt from there versus taking care of the children in our country that have no home or family.
  • by Sweet! Location: Leon County on Oct 25, 2011 at 01:32 PM
    Just goes to show you that a good thing can come from something bad. That's a wonderful story. Wish there was more of them instead of always hearing the worst about mankind and the world.
  • by Anonymous on Oct 25, 2011 at 09:51 AM
    What a wonderful and heart warming story. It is so nice to read something positive in our news for a change.
  • by SoHappy4u on Oct 25, 2011 at 08:06 AM
    God bless the both of you. Thank you for your service.
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