After almost 2 years, Brent Grommet and Matty, the dog he served with are being reunited following an adoption mishap. The dog Matty was sent to a family for adoption despite the law in place, Robby’s Law, which gives the handler who served with the dog final say on adoption after retirement if the two were injured together.
Brent and Matty searched for buried explosives in Afghanistan, and Brent intended to adopt Matty. There wasn’t even a question. They both met and trained together in the Tactical Explosive Detection Dog program.
When Brent and Matty got back from service he expected to see him soon. He last saw him being taken away in a crate for medical care and processing. It would be a long time until they met again.
Before leaving Afghanistan, Brent submitted the necessary paperwork in order to adopt Matty, he expected to hear from them soon regarding adoption. He heard nothing back, so he resubmitted his application and was told he would be contacted in the next few weeks.
Weeks went by and eventually he was contacted, but the news wasn’t what he wanted to hear, an officer at Fort Bragg told him Matty had been adopted. He was devastated, he returned from war with PTSD, traumatic brain injury, severe chronic back pain and breathing problems and now was losing his partner.
He eventually got through to Lt. Col. Richard Vargas who was in charge of the adoption of military dogs. Another wall. Richard Vargas refused to disclose any details regarding Matty or help with his return.
News of this got out however, and online petitions to the White House began and nationally syndicated and outspoken radio host Michael Savage demanded their reunion.
The Pentagon released the statement: “This is a truly unfortunate mistake, and we are doing what we can to help all parties involved” to the Washington Times.
On Thursday he was finally contacted and told that he would be able to adopt Matty. He was overjoyed, after what seemed like a hopeless uphill battle through endless amounts of red tape, he had succeeded. He had Matty.
It has been explained now that Matty wasn’t retired because of an injury, he was removed from the progam after being diagnosed with a subchondral bone cyst. He was then put up for civilian adoption.
On Friday Brent and his parents drove to South Carolina from Fort Campbell, Kentucky. They had to sign a non-disclosure agreement to keep the identity of the owner a secret. It was the reunion he had been dying for. However, he does admit he was scared at first, what if Matty forgot who he was?
He was fearful of this until the moment they met. When he arrived at the owner’s home he stopped 25 feet short of Matty’s kennel and called his name. When Matty heard his voice, he barrelled out towards Brent and put all those fears to rest. He couldn’t stop licking him.
These two belong together.
If you know any armed forces members who adopted their dogs, we’d love to see them!