Veteran Reunited with Military Working Dog That Saved His Life

There is a reason why dogs are regarded as man’s best friend. Since time immemorial the bond between owners and their dogs has been quite charming. Dogs have proven to be intelligent, with some getting trained as police officers and even warfare dogs.The use of dogs in warfare is nothing new as it dates back to the ancient Romans and Greeks, who used dogs as patrols and sentries in wars. Large mastiffs would be strapped with spiked collars and armor and sent to attack the enemy. According to Wikipedia, the first time dogs were introduced to military use was during the Seminole Wars. In the American civil war, canines were used to send messages, protect, and guard prisoners. Dogs got so famous in warfare that bloodhound packs got killed, whenever found, because they were trained to hunt men. During the WW1, dogs were used as mascots for spreading propaganda and recruiting posters. People who work besides such dogs in the military testify to their usefulness in war. Some end up getting so much attached to them and wouldn’t imagine life without them. Such is the story of a particular veteran who recently got reunited with a dog that saved his life, while on a mission in Iraq.

The Story

According to Fox News, the retired veteran Harvey Holt was so much heart broken after he had been forced to leave the dog behind following his retirement from the army. All his life he had never been an emotional person but leaving the dog behind got to him. He stated that he hadn’t cried when he was in Iraq, after leaving the country or upon seeing his family. His tears, however, came when he had to say goodbye to Jackson. On the said day, he went to hang aroound the dog, in his kennel, for the last time. The goodbye moment was so painful that he ended up crying for two whole hours. He couldn’t take the fact that it would be the last time he would be seeing the dog. Additionally, it hurt him that once they parted ways, Jackson would form a bond with someone else – his new handler. The story got the attention of Fox News and got featured in their new series Hero Dogs for the ‘Grateful Nation’ month feature. The show focuses on the experiences between handlers and dogs working in the military. Holt’s and Jackson’s story landed on the first episode of the show.

How the Two Met

Back in 2016, Harvey Holt left for a mission in Iraq. He was then assigned Jackson to help him during the mission. From the very start, Jackson proved to invaluable to Holt and his team. On their first mission they were required to thoroughly search a school located on the outskirts on Baqubah in Iraq. Holt and Jackson immediately embarked on the mission to find explosives, weapon caches or rebels hidden away in the school’s premises. In only a matter of minutes, Jackson found several rounds of ammunition, machine guns and bomb making material. Afterwards the two moved to search outside the schools’s compound as well as the farm trailers that had been parked close to the school’s exterior wall.

While searching Holt almost tripped over the canine who had stopped him dead in his tracks, and prevented him from going forward. Looking down to see why his partner had stopped him so abruptly, he noticed a tripwire over a foot from where the two had been standing. Holt remembered that three mortar rounds had been attached at the far end of the tripwire, and if he had stepped on the wire, the mortars would have exploded, killing not only him, but also the other three members of the Army he was with at the time.

This was not the only mission in which Jackson proved his worth as he supposedly endured a 16-hour long wait in a ditch, while he and Holt awaited rescue in an ill-fated mission. As detailed on the show, Jackson sat still and kept calm under fire and lucky for them, they were later rescued. The more the pair worked together, the stronger their partnership and friendship grew, and the more difficult their separation became. Unfortunately the two had to say their goodbyes when Holt left the army. To remember his furry friend, he was only allowed to take was Jackson’s leash and collar.

It wasn’t an easy thing for Holt to walk away from his friend and the life he had been accustomed to. He would often wake up from nightmares and had several panic attacks.This went on for seven years, that is, until he received a phone call that lifted his spirits. The call stated that the dog was up for adoption. At first Holt thought it was a prank as he had always talked about how much he loved Jackson. Maybe it was one of his friends or neighbors seeking to get a reaction from him. Regardless, he pursued the call to find out if it was true or not.

Despite his initial hesitation, Holt’s neighbors in Indiana who had heard all of his stories raised enough money for an airplane ticket for Jackson to be brought home. Holt finalized by saying that a dog’s bond with its handler is an eternal one, and he and Jackson have an everlasting relationship. He added that everyone gets a once in a lifetime dog, and for him, Jackson was his once in a lifetime dog. The two have since been reunited, and if their experiences as detailed in the show are anything to go by, it seems the duo would not be bidding each other goodbye anytime soon. The new series Hero Dogs is available on Fox Nation along with other similar shows for the ‘Grateful Nation’ month.

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