Army buddies, soldier and dog, reunite at airport
Army sergeant Tom Hansen looks nervous. He’s at the airport in Boise, Idaho, awaiting the arrival of an Army buddy he hasn’t seen in two years. “It’s like a part of me has been missing,” Hansen told NBC News. “Getting her back now, it’ll make me whole again.” When Taylor arrives, she runs straight into Hansen’s arms for a hug.
Their reunion is full of wagging tails and loving rubs and scratches — Taylor is a newly retired military working dog and Hansen was her partner in Afghanistan. He protected her during firefights and she protected him from numerous bombs. As a team, they were so effective at protecting American lives that Taylor had a Taliban bounty placed on her.
Perhaps the real story here is Molli Oliver, the woman who facilitated the reunion. A flight attendant with United Airlines, Oliver has made it her mission to reunite retired military working dogs with their former handlers. “I love the dogs, and I love my military that’s taken care of my freedom my whole life, so it’s a win-win to combine the two,” Oliver said.
The process of reuniting service members with their dogs can be long and expensive; Oliver travels around the country at her own expense to assist. Hansen and Taylor are her fifth success, and Hansen is so grateful that he’s teaming up with Oliver to form a nonprofit to keep the good work going. They have a crowd-funding page at YouCaring.com called “Reuniting Battle Buddies.”
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