Specialist Andrew Brown and his beloved military dog, Rocky, were separated for this first time since they began their partnership when they both received injuries from an improvised explosive device (IED) in Afghanistan.
"When the explosion first happened, I was more worried about him than myself," Brown told ABC News.
The two were both awarded Purple Hearts for their injuries after being flown together to Kandahar, Afghanistan on a flight where Brown says they both helped keep each other calm.
From there however, the soldier and his beloved partner were separated, as Brown was flown to Walter Reed Hospital in the United States, while Rocky stayed in Europe to continue being treated.
Although it was difficult to part with his canine partner, Brown said that it made it easier, knowing that Rocky was in good hands, getting the treatment he deserved.
Brown went on to explain that Rocky wasn’t just a highly trained dog, but a true American soldier, who even held one rank higher than his handler’s.
"He does everything," Brown said. "I'm just really a guy with a leash. I bring him to the area and let him do his thing. If he responds, I translate that ... let them know my dog got a response right here." After Rocky had finally finished his treatment in Germany however, he was finally able to be flown back to the U.S. for a reunion with Brown in Maryland.
"I’ve known him longer than both of my sons have been alive," Brown said of Rocky. "I think we make a pretty good team --- you know, you've got to have 100 percent trust in your dog."
Since undergoing treatment, Brown said that he was doing well but wasn’t sure exactly when he’d be ready to go back on active duty. As for Rocky, Brown of course agreed to adopt him, should the military decide to medically retire him, but knew that he’d do great should they decide to deploy him again.
Until then, the two are enjoying their favorite thing, which as Brown described it is, "just spending time together, just like when we were in Afghanistan. He was with me the whole time."
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