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Navy Veteran Adopts Dog That Saved His Life in Afghanistan

Byung Kang has served in the US Marine Corps for 31 years. This soldier deployed in Afghanistan, where he met Blue, a black Labrador trained to identify improvised explosive devices. Between 2011 and 2012, the two took part in over 300 combat operations. Kang never forgot about her, and when he went home, he wanted to adopt the dog that had saved his life.

The former Marine credits Blue for bringing him home, and he has spent the last six years contacting various military departments and non-profit groups in the hopes of reuniting with his old comrade.

Blue was a natural at his profession; on his first assignment, he discovered an explosive device and saved the platoon’s lives.


Today quoted Kang as saying:

“From then, Blue began to acquire my platoon’s confidence and respect.”

Kang was so thankful to Blue for keeping him safe on every deployment they went on that he made a pledge to his partner one night in Afghanistan.


Kang retold the story:

“I told him, ‘We can’t take back what you’ve done for me and my soldiers in Afghanistan.’ So I’ll give you a wonderful place to live where you can snuggle up all day and not have to worry about going to war and collecting bombs.'”

Blue was moved when Kang concluded his tour in Afghanistan, and the two lost contact, but the veteran never forgot his pledge and notified Wendy, his fiancée at the time. One of his goals was to adopt Blue once she retired from the military.


Wendy has also served in the Marine Corps. When she eventually retired, she utilized her connections to locate Blue and organize his adoption, and they welcomed him into their home in late 2018.

Wendy expressed herself as follows:

“After all the things I’ve heard, I know for a certainty that Blue is one of the reasons BK is still here and with me.”

Kang currently works for the Duluth Police Department as a K-9 officer. At his side, Blue also works for the police department.

Blue is now 11 years old and resides in Georgia with his parents, Kang and Wendy, as well as their two children, five dogs, and two cats. Blue was diagnosed with cancer earlier this year, but the lump in her mouth proved out to be benign, and she now lives a calm life and enjoys giving hugs.

Blue is a semifinalist in the military dog category of the 2020 American Humane Hero Dog Awards, according to Kang’s experience.


Dr. Robin Ganzert, President and CEO of American Humane, asks everyone to visit his official website to learn the inspiring stories of these extraordinary heroes.

He wrote to Today in an email, saying:

“Military canines serve alongside our troops, experiencing the same challenges and hazards in order to keep our country secure.”