Soldier unsure if dog he saved in Iraq will remember him holds his breath when he opens her crate
He had no idea how she would respond to seeing him again but was simply hoping for the best.
When a soldier leaves for war, there’s no telling what they’ll be like when they return.
For many, life isn’t the same. For Nick Piezchalski, his time serving as a Blackhawk helicopter pilot in Iraq had come to a close, and it was time to go home.
Part of what Nick did was transporting injured soldiers.
As a pilot, Nick was primarily responsible for transporting wounded soldiers across battlefields and back to safety.
Whenever he got the call, he would respond with honor and risk his own life to bring back the wounded.
While it was normally humans that Nick saved, one situation proved that it wasn’t always the case.
Nick and his unit make a local friend
During his tour, he and his unit accidentally stumbled across a peculiar situation.
The unit was in the Iraq desert, making their rounds when they ran into a little dog! Nick explained what happened to Fox 13 News:
“This dog ran up to me, ran up to our group, and befriended us immediately.
It brought great morale to me and the whole group, felt like a piece of home,” the Florida Army National Guard pilot said. “She’d hang out with us. She was constantly with us.”
The situation was a breath of fresh air for them.
Somehow, in the middle of the desert, a dog had found them.
The unit’s entire morale was lifted and having a dog around can’t help but boost everyone’s mood! Feeling a bit anxious or stressed? Pet a dog!
When they got back to the hangar, Nick built the dog a kennel.
Feelings start to form
Nick didn’t intend to let the dog wander back out into the desert where he had found it!
He knew that there was a special connection between them.
When he landed the copter back in the hangar, he got to work building a kennel for the dog.
Naming the pup Airys, Nick had a new friend on the battlefield.
During his entire time spent in Iraq, Airys was by Nick’s side.
Unfortunately, their time spent together had to come to an end.
Nick finished his tour in March 2017 and went back to his hometown in Brooksville, Florida. When he went, Airys had to stay behind.
When Nick got back to the US, he assumed he wouldn’t see his friend again.
The logistics of bringing a dog over from war was too much for Nick.
Knowing it wasn’t likely he would ever see his friend again, he was resigned to the loss. Thankfully, that wasn’t the end of the story!
Through SPCA International and Operation Baghdad Pups, there was a chance the two would be reunited!
Three months later, they organized Airys to be transported back to Tampa!
Nick was there before the wheels of the plane ever touched down, waiting to see his old friend.
However, in the back of his mind, he wondered if Airys would be as happy to see him as he was her.
As soon as the kennel opened, Airys sprints over to Nick and snuggles into his arms!
If Nick had any doubt as to whether he would be remembered, their reunion was enough to put it to rest!
Nick was barely able to express just how happy he was that he got to see her again:
“I can’t even put it into words, I really can’t. I didn’t think I was going to get her home, and they made it possible, everybody made it possible, and it’s just unbelievable, ” Pierzchalski said.
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