For a soldier deployed overseas life isn’t easy. These heroes have to face a constant stress and during those difficult times having a companion by your side it might be so relieving. And when the companion is a four-legged one, the bond is even stronger. It happened to Army specialist Vance McFarland and his furry comrade Ikar, a loyal Czech Shepherd, special trained as a detection dog.
Vance and Ikar initially met in 2012, when they have been deployed to Afghanistan. Even short, the time they spent there was enough to bond them for life. And their reunion, after three long years, is the perfect proof of it. After a few months spent in Afghanistan, the duo made a safety return home. But shortly after, Ikar was taken away from Vance and he was sent back with another handler.
“Having a dog with you on deployment is almost like having a little bit of home,” Vance told HumanKind. “When we walked off the planes at Fort Brag, I had Ikar long enough to take a picture before they took him away from me and sent him back.”
After his second mission, Ikar was supposed to become a support dog for a private company, but things didn’t go very well, and the loyal pup ended up in kennel for almost two years. Fortunately for him, at some point Mission K9 Rescue and the US War Dogs Association came up with a plan to reunite army dogs with their mission partners. So when they found Ikar they focussed on tracking down his handler, Vance.
It did not take too long until the volunteers found Vance and let him about their kind initiative. Of course, the soldier was more than excited. However, he feared his ex-companion won’t recognize him after three years apart. “Hope he remembers me,” Vance said. But he was so wrong as their reunion turned into such an emotional scene.
After he got chance to hold his beloved partner into his arms again, Vance promised they’d stay together for good. “He’s going to live the rest of his retired life spoiled, really spoiled,” he said.