Two heroes were separated for years after serving their country, but the pair reunited at an airport in Chicago on Friday.
Chris Spears, of Galesburg, Illinois, had his service dog Rossi for four and a half years while serving in the navy. During that time, they formed a special bond.
“I always told myself I would not get attached,” the 32-year-old said of the Czech German Shepherd. “Boy was that a lie. I fell in love. I fell hard.”
“Rossi was the hardest worker, the best at detection,” Spears added. “Everyone wanted to be around him. He would perform demos in front of hundreds like a rockstar. He was the Olympian.”
Spears said one night the dog even saved his life. Rossi sensed something was wrong and woke Spears up one night in 2009 while the two were in Afghanistan.
“As soon as we walked out the door, the tent next to us was blown to smithereens,” Spears said.
But the two were separated when Spears finished his tour in Afghanistan and Rossi went on to serve another service member in the country.
However, the two were finally reunited at Chicago's Midway International Airport on Friday. After all of Rossi’s service for his country, Spears said the dog is going to be getting a break.
“He’s going to lay on the couch,” Spears said.