A Puppy That Saved His Life In Afghanistan Has Been Adopted By A Navy Veteran

Byung Kang has served in the US Marine Corps for 31 years. This soldier deployed in Afghanistan, where he met Blue, a black Labrador trained to identify improvised explosive devices. Between 2011 and 2012, the two took part in over 300 combat operations. Kang never forgot her and chose to adopt the dog that had saved his life when he came home.

The former marine credits Blue with making him feel at home, and he has spent the last six years contacting various military units and non-profit groups in the hopes of reuniting with his old buddy.

“From then, Blue began to acquire my platoon’s confidence and respect.”

Kang was so thankful to Blue for keeping him safe on every deployment that he made a pledge to his partner one night in Afghanistan.

“I told him, ‘We can’t repay you for what you’ve done for me and my soldiers in Afghanistan.’ So, instead of going to war and gathering bombs, I’m going to provide you a lovely home where you can snuggle up all day.’

Credit: IMAGE / BYUNG KANG

When Kang returned from Afghanistan, Blue was moved and they lost contact, but the veteran never forgot his pledge and informed Wendy that she was his fiancee at the time. One of her goals was to adopt Blue as soon as she was out of the military.

Credit: IMAGE / BYUNG KANG

Wendy has also served in the Marine Corps. When she ultimately retired, she utilized her connections to locate Blue and organize her adoption, and they welcomed her home in late 2018.

“I did everything I could to make sure we could bring Blue home, and after hearing all the tales, I know for a doubt that Blue is one of the reasons BK is still here and with me.”

Kang currently works for the Duluth Police Department as a K-9 officer. At his side, Blue also works for the police department.

Credit: IMAGE / BYUNG KANG

Blue is now 11 years old and resides in Georgia with his parents, Kang and Wendy, as well as their two children, five dogs, and two cats. Blue was diagnosed with cancer earlier this year, but the lump in her mouth proved out to be benign, and she now lives a calm life and enjoys giving hugs.

Blue is a semi-finalist in the military dog category of the 2020 American Humane Hero Dog Awards, thanks to Kang’s experience.

Dr. Robin Ganzert, President and CEO of American Humane, urges everyone to read the wonderful stories of these unsung heroes on his official page.

“Military dogs work alongside our troops, experiencing the same challenges and hazards in order to keep our country secure.”

The marine veteran is grateful for Blue and all military dogs, and highlights their courage and service.

He said:

“These working dogs will give their lives for us, therefore, we must be grateful to them and respect them and, above all, trust them because dogs will not lie.”