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Bay Area Soldier Reunites With Puppy He Adopted In Iraq

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- A dog that comforted U.S. forces in Iraq arrived at San Francisco International Airport Thursday and reunited with a Bay Area solider who was on patrol with him.

A bay area soldier who worked with the dog was at SFO Thursday to take him home.

About a month ago, former Army Specialist Ken Wyrsch was in Iraq fighting alongside a Kurdish military outfit when word came that the camp was shutting down and the unit disbanding. He realized one of his best buddies was going to be left behind.

Wyrsch said, "You don't leave a friend behind, can't do it."

His friend, a dog named Ollie, was adopted as a puppy and became the camp's beloved mascot.

"He was there when we left on our missions, he was there when we got back," Wyrsch said.

But Wyrsch says Ollie was a lover, not a fighter, and never would have survived the harsh, even cruel, treatment that animals face in that country.

"I don't know, some Iraqi would use it for target practice or something," he said.

So Wyrsch contacted SPCA International and they helped send Ollie on a trip halfway across the world.

And that's why Wyrsch was at the cargo depot at SFO Thursday, to reunite with his old friend.

It's hard to tell who was happier, or more excited, about Ollie's improbable twist of fate.

"And this right here was thousands and thousands of dollars of donations that went into this dog, you know?  He's a good boy. He's worth it," Wyrsch said.

Ollie now begins a new life in a very different place, all because a good friend answered his call to duty.


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