Local News

Soldier, dog deployed together in Afghanistan reunite after 2 years

Posted June 19

— It had been two years and two months since Fort Bragg Staff Sgt. Andy Wolf last saw his best buddy.

They were constant companions who did two tours in Afghanistan, dodging roadside bombs and bunking together through most of it.

On Thursday, the long wait was over. A Southwest Airlines plane from Houston touched down at Raleigh-Durham International Airport at 12:25 p.m., and minutes later, the pair reunited in a volley of barks, licks and belly rubs.

The German shepherd had found his Wolf.

"Iras come here, come here, come here!” Wolf called out to his furry friend.

Iras the bomb-sniffing dog smelled his way through more than 100 combat missions with Wolf, who credits him for saving countless lives.

Wolf recalled the time they were about to cross a bridge in Afghanistan. Iras sniffed, stopped and sat down.

“There was an IED under the bridge we were parked on,” Wolf said. “We didn’t lose one soldier or one piece of equipment through every mission. We didn’t blow up. Everybody all came home.

“We just lived together 24-7, and then we came on orders to deploy (to Afghanistan),” Wolf said. “I think we left in July 2010. That’s where stuff got pretty intense down there at the time.”

At one point, Iras was hurt and had emergency surgery to remove his spleen. The dog was sent to a hospital in Germany.

“Throughout that whole time frame, I slept by his side, like right next to him,” Wolf recalled.

Four months later, they were back in Afghanistan.

Now, Iras will live out his golden years in Fayetteville with the Wolf family, including Andy’s wife, Samantha, and their boys, Tyler, 6, and Dominick, 4.

“The amount of time and what we went through together, there’s nothing to explain what you feel,” Wolf said.
 

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  • "Screen Name-8/20" Jun 20, 3:34 p.m.

    I am so blessed our government is now doing this. For decades upon decades, military dogs were considered "excess equipment" and were destroyed instead of being brought back to the US (can you imagine!?!).
    Blessed they can now live long happy lives with those who've grown to love them.

  • AliceBToklas Jun 20, 2:08 p.m.

    I love these stories of soldiers being reunited. Wolf can now enjoy a well deserved retirement with a loving family.

  • davidjunk2 Jun 20, 11:09 a.m.

    I'm a little confused. The story makes it sound like they were together the whole time. Why the... View More

    — Posted by davidjunk2

    Watch the video, Wolf states that Iras was redeploye one more time after he had orders to go... View More

    — Posted by dmaaaaax

    OK. Thanks. I didn't watch the video the first time. Just read the story. If you just read the story, there seems to be something missing between the 2nd and 3rd paragraphs.

  • dmaaaaax Jun 20, 11:00 a.m.

    I'm a little confused. The story makes it sound like they were together the whole time. Why the... View More

    — Posted by davidjunk2

    Watch the video, Wolf states that Iras was redeploye one more time after he had orders to go home. Great story WRAL....the writing was actually better than the video. Thank you both for your service and feed that dog some steak!!

  • icdumbpeople Jun 20, 9:43 a.m.

    Sweet Sweet Sweet. I love these stories!!

  • Good gift 88 Jun 20, 9:40 a.m.

    Finally, some GOOD news!!!! Who can't say, "whoo-who!" to that one? Thanks, WRAL

  • misschris234 Jun 20, 9:29 a.m.

    I'm a little confused. The story makes it sound like they were together the whole time. Why the... View More

    — Posted by davidjunk2

    The story states that while Sgt Wolf came home to his family, Iras was redeployed... hence the 2 years away.

  • Southern Gal Jun 20, 9:18 a.m.

    Great story WRAL... GO BLUE!!!!!!

  • Duff Dry Jun 20, 9:16 a.m.

    Not only that, his last name is Wolf!

  • scubagirl2 Jun 20, 9:07 a.m.

    THANK YOU BOTH for your service.....and it's just awesome they are together again.

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