Soldier, dog deployed together in Afghanistan reunite after 2 years
Posted June 19, 2014
Morrisville, N.C. — 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.