Best Friends Reunite After 6 Years
An ex-marine by the name of Byung Kang has reunited with his trusted black Labrador, Blue, after a 6-years of separation. The two former companions had served in Afghanistan from 2011-2012 in more than 300 combat missions together to take out potential enemy Improvised explosive devices (IED’s) that were considered a severe threat to human lives.
After contacting various military branches, politicians, and non-profits, Kang was finally able to be reunited with his best friend. “I am just very grateful,” said Kang, who now is the proud K9-officer with the Duluth Police Department in Georgia. “Knowing that my dog doesn’t have to sniff out the bombs anymore, isn’t sleeping somewhere in Afghanistan, not getting shot at or sleeping on dirt every night.”
Both Kang and Blue reunited at the end of 2018. Kang mentions that everything for him had come full circle in the sense that now he was able to reconnect with Blue and was proudly serving the K9 unit with the Duluth Police Department alongside his new K9 companion Clodo. “
Being a K-9 officer now, I am still grateful for our department in giving me the opportunity and making my dream come true,” stated Kang.
In their time in Afghanistan, Kang had to really know Blue’s body language whenever she wanted to go for herself to investigate a potential IED. Kang would allow Blue to run ahead of the military company in order to follow her hunch and try to spot a possible IED before anyone else knew about it. She would lie down in order to indicate to her handler that she had found an explosive, and of course, he would call her back to him to reward her with some toys.
A Promise To Blue
“Since we knew Blue is effective, it was almost impossible for a squad or a platoon to go out without Blue,” Kang said. “Sometimes we went on three patrols per day and by the time we’d get back we’re all exhausted because we’ve been walking miles and miles in over a hundred degrees of heat in Afghanistan. So we did our best. Every chance, we tried to go out to possibly save the Marines and sailors.”
Recollecting and reminiscing on all the times Blue has come through and saved Kang and his fellow soldiers’ lives, he decided to make a promise to Blue one night in Afghanistan.
“I told her, ‘What you’ve done for me and my guys over here in Afghanistan, we cannot pay back. So I’m going to give you a good home where you can cuddle all day, not worrying about going to war and finding bombs.’” Kang said.
A Promise Fulfilled
At the end of the troop’s tour in Afghanistan, Blue ended up getting reassigned and soon after Kang had lost keeping in touch with Blue. Despite the separation, Kang never forgot the promise he made to Blue on that lonely night in Afghanistan. So much so, that he recounts talking to his then future wife about adopting Blue once she retired from her active duty.
Also, a marine veteran, Wendy Kang, used her network of people and places she knew within the organization to track and find Blue. Luckily, their search proved fruitful and they ere able to find the dog and adopt her on November 2018.
Blue suffered from a freakish cancer scare, but fortunately, the mass in her mouth did not increase in size and was able to be healed shortly after. Blue now is nestled in the family along with Kang’s two sons, five dogs, and two cats. Kang said he’s very appreciative of Blue and all military dogs for the incredible service they provide to the men and women of the armed military forces.
“These working dogs, they will give up their life for us,” he said. “So we should be thankful to them and respect them and above all, trust the dog because dogs will not lie.”
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