Military Veteran Reunited With Best Friend After Two Years, But It’s Not What You Think
Tom Hansen waited for hours at the airport for her to arrive. He was growing impatient by the minute. So when she finally rounded the corner and made her way toward him, Hansen knelt to the floor and waved to her. It was a joyous reunion, but it’s not what you think…
Man’s Best Friend
Army Staff Sgt. Tom Hansen didn’t mind waiting at the airport for his best friend, Taylor the Labrador. In fact, he didn’t expect becoming best friends with the dog at all. But that’s exactly what happened when he was deployed to Afghanistan and Taylor was his bomb-sniffing dog companion during his service. The two quickly formed a relationship that extended beyond their work.
Saving His Life
Hansen realized he needed Taylor in his life when the Labrador sniffed an IUD bomb that was buried just inches away from Hansen’s foot. That’s when he realized he should always trust his dog and “know that something is there.” The two depended on each other, and Hansen credits Taylor for keeping him alive on their missions.
Helping Him Heal
Just because Hansen had Taylor by his side, that doesn’t mean he didn’t get hurt. He experienced several encounters with explosives, leaving him with multiple wounds and concussions. Hansen was lucky to make it back home with all his limbs. He was grateful to his best friend for helping him heal. So, when it was time for Hansen to return home to the United States, he wanted to bring Taylor with him, but it wasn’t that easy.
Separated For A While
It’s common practice that dog handlers get to adopt their dogs and bring them home with them. That didn’t happen with Hansen, however. Taylor had to stay behind in Afghanistan to help another soldier with her bomb-sniffing abilities. Hansen was heartbroken, but he knew they would one day be reunited.
A Joyful Reunion
That reunion wouldn’t be for another two years when Taylor retired from active duty. Hansen, now happily engaged and settled into his home in Boise, Idaho, was excited to be reunited with his best friend. All it took was a United Airlines flight attendant, Molli Oliver, to lend a financial helping hand to reunite the solider with his loyal dog. The second Taylor spotted Hansen, she ran into his arms. There wasn’t a dry eye near the reunion!
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