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Heroic & Inspiring

Deployed Soldier Fulfills Christmas Promise to the Puppy He Rescued and His Children Back Home

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A U.S. soldier serving overseas rescued a severely ill puppy he found abandoned near his base. With the help of Paws of War, he saved the puppy’s life and fulfilled a Christmas promise to his kids back home.

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Image via Paws of War

When Sergeant Wayne, who is stationed overseas, came across a puppy severely in need of care he didn’t hesitate to step in. Still grieving the loss of his 11-year old family pet, he began nursing the puppy, he named Branko, back to health. Along the way, he sent photos and videos back to his family, and the kids fell in love, wanting to make him a permanent part of the family. He promised the children he’d get Branko back home before Christmas, so he reached out to Paws of War, who successfully pulled off the holiday miracle for his family.

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Image via Paws of War

“When Sergeant Wayne’s family bonded with Branko we knew we had to step in and help with the relocation effort,” explains Dereck Cartright, a disabled veteran who is the stateside logistics coordinator at Paws of War. “Seeing how getting Branko to his family made them all so happy it is a reminder of exactly why we do what we do. Our soldiers do so much for the country, it’s an honor to do something for them in return.”

Paws of War took the mission on and came through, ensuring that Branko made it home to Sgt. Wayne’s family before Christmas. Successfully relocating a pet for a soldier who is deployed overseas takes an effort that includes complex travel arrangements, veterinary care, paperwork, and a variety of other expenses. 

Once Branko was relocated to the United States he was delivered to his new forever home with Sgt. Wayne’s family. The children were able to get the gift of the dog that their dad rescued and nursed to health, and dad was able to fulfill a promise and put a smile on their faces.

“I’m so grateful for the help of Paws of War in helping to safely relocate Branko,” explains Sgt. Wayne. “I may still be overseas for the holidays, but it’s a great feeling knowing that my family is happy and Branko brought so much joy to my children during this time. This is a great Christmas!”

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Image via Paws of War
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Peedy | Image via Paws of War

Sgt. Wayne has served the country for the last decade in the U.S. Army and has completed several overseas deployments. Like many soldiers, he suffers from the traumas of war. When he returned home from deployment in Afghanistan in 2009, he was struggling and the one thing that helped him was his dog, Peedy. 

During this most recent deployment, Peedy was having a difficult time and passed away, leaving him and his family devastated. He thought he’d never want another dog, until he met and rescued Branko. With his family being heartbroken at the loss of Peedy and not having dad home for the holidays, Branko was able to bring them comfort. Branko quickly bonded with the family and Sgt. Wayne is happy that he was able to give this Christmas miracle to them.  Paws of War will be providing ongoing training for Branko, so that he can be a service dog for Sgt. Wayne when he returns home. 

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Image via Paws of War

Many service members stationed around the world rescue cats and dogs and become attached to them. The pets bring them peace and comfort, and put smiles on their faces. Paws of War has made it its mission to help get those pets to safety in America when the time arrives. It has helped many service members to get their rescued pets relocated following deployment. To learn more about what they do or to make a donation to help support their efforts, visit the site at: pawsofwar.networkforgood.com/projects/149748-branko-holiday-miracle.

About Paws of War

Paws of War is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) charitable organization that provides assistance to military members and their pets, rescues and trains dogs to be service dogs, and provides companion animals to veterans. To learn more about Paws of War and the programs provided or to make a donation, visit its site at: pawsofwar.org

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