Certain connections are so profound that neither distance nor time can ever erode their strength.
This is one of them.
The story of a Marine and a retired K9 service dog beautifully exemplifies how absence only deepens the love between them.
The onlookers at Midway Airport were privileged to witness the heartfelt reunion between a man and his faithful companion.
Having shared three years of working side by side, looking out for each other, and providing mutual care, their connection had undeniably grown deep.
The touching video capturing their reunion has touched the hearts of many.
At the airport, a U.S. Marine canine named Atilla R7-89 eagerly awaits the arrival of a very special person—Sgt. Jacob Varela, a retired member of the U.S. Marine Corps and Atilla’s former partner.
During an interview with CBS, Sgt. Varela expressed his feelings:
“I got stuck with him in 2014, I brought him from Lackland, he was a combat tracker. And we were together for 3 years. I got out and haven’t seen him since.”
Just like any dog owner, Varela and Atilla developed an unbreakable bond, but theirs was forged in the face of danger and a shared sense of duty.
During their time of service, they were inseparable companions.
In his interview with CBS, Sgt. Varela vividly described their dynamic:
“We were together for everything. Everywhere I went, he was with me. When we were out in the field, out there for a month, month and a half, whatever, I mean, he was with me. If I was drinking water, he was drinking water, if I was eating, he was eating. He becomes like your teammate.”
However, as their responsibilities demanded, their paths diverged. Since 2017, they had never crossed paths again.
Ultimately, both of them were dedicated to serving under orders, regardless of where those orders led them.
Upon learning about Atilla’s retirement, Sgt. Varela eagerly seized the chance to reunite with his beloved companion.
With the assistance of Mission K-9 Rescue, the retired Marine embarked on the process of permanently bringing his cherished companion to live with him.
In her conversation with CBS, Kristen Maurer from Mission K-9 Rescue elaborated on the extraordinary bond that exists between these partners:
“These dogs serve with these guys, they spend 24/7 training with them, putting their lives on the line together, so there’s a bond that we can’t understand.”
Filled with anticipation, Sgt. Varela anxiously awaited the arrival of Southwest Airlines Flight 7 from Houston at Midway, hoping that his loyal companion would still recognize him.
In the hallway, a joyous and high-pitched call of “Come here! Come here!” resonated as the retired Marine sprinted towards his beloved companion, arms outstretched in a warm embrace.
With a wagging tail and excited tippy-tapping, Atilla eagerly dashed towards his former handler, finding solace in having a person he could now call family and a place he could truly call home.
Filled with relief, Varela expressed his reassurance about the reunion during his interview with CBS, stating, “The way he reacted, the way he jumped, he knows who I am, so that’s good.”
While Sgt. Varela pursues his college degree, he shared with CBS that Atilla is thoroughly enjoying a much-deserved retirement.
Sgt. Varela is not the sole fortunate soldier to be reunited with his faithful companion.
Sgt. Angela Cardone, after being reassigned to a different base, was finally able to adopt Bogi, a dog she had worked with for over a year.
Sgt. Cardone and Bogi formed a partnership while she was stationed in Japan. However, upon her transfer to Hawaii, she recognized the importance of providing Bogi with a permanent loving home.
I got my mf best friend back and no one can ever take her away again 🥳how it started – how it’s going 🐾🖤 pic.twitter.com/z8LmASxUzG— ang (@AngieCardone) February 16, 2021
After Bogi was compelled to retire due to a neck injury, Sgt. Cardone sought assistance from American Humane to facilitate the adoption process and bring her beloved companion home.
In Hawaii, the long-awaited reunion between Sgt. Cardone and Bogi finally took place, filling Sgt. Cardone with immense joy. She is ecstatic to provide her canine companion with a retirement filled with unconditional love and utmost comfort.
Witness the heartwarming reunion between Varela and Atilla in the captivating video provided below!
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