ALBANY, Ga — After years apart, a young veteran living with PTSD has finally been reunited with the one thing that helped him get through his harrowing experience overseas — his military working dog.
“It was love at first sight,” Lance Cpl. David Pond told NBC News about his Belgian Malinois.
In 2011, Pond and his military dog, Pablo, spent seven long months together in Afghanistan canvassing roads and sniffing out bombs. Together they survived over 30 firefights. They were by each other’s side on and off patrol. They were the best of friends.
“He was my rock, my foundation. He saved my life more than once,” Pond says of Pablo.
When Pond’s tour came to an end, he went back to Colorado and Pablo was sent stateside to continue assignments. The canine ended up being stationed at a base in Albany, Georgia.
Unfortunately, Pond was diagnosed with PTSD and traumatic brain injury.
“I was having anger issues and panic attacks. Any loud noise, I wanted to hit the ground,” Pond said. His therapist agreed that being reunited permanently with Pablo would be very helpful.
Pond began an online petition that received over 187,000 signatures. He also wrote letters to politicians to help him in his journal to bring his best friend home.
Finally, his wish was granted. Pablo was released from service and returned to Pond.
“I cheered,” Pond said.
“It brings a big portion of closure to my life. He’s mine.”
Pond and his family attended Pablo’s retirement ceremony and are now more ready than ever to live a quieter life.
Via NBC News