While I’ll never dare to pretend to have the courage of a military participant, I’ve had the pleasure of being good friends with people who served. The dedication that it takes and the toll it eventually brought on each and every one of them was, for me, pretty noticeable.
However, one thing they all tell me is that, when they get home, it’s being able to see old friends and be with people who aren’t in their line of work. I can appreciate that, and the story of Tom Hansen is one that instantly resonates.
Army Staff Sargent Tom Hansen was waiting at the airport for what felt like forever, the clock ticking and his heart aching. With his impatience reaching a peak, he finally saw her. She came around the corner and barrelled over to him. Hansen knelt down on the floor and gave her a wave – a true moment of heartfelt joy.
His best friend, though, isn’t a human – it’s Taylor, his stunning Labrador!
During his tour in Afghanistan, Hansen and Taylor worked as a pair, with Taylor sniffing out explosives during their tour together. Quickly, they became closest friends. They soon became so close due to the fact that Hansen was about to step on an IED – until Taylor sniffed it out for him. Crediting Taylor for keeping him alive during numerous mission, this is a bond that would be very hard to break.
Despite coming into close encounters with more than his fair share of bombs, suffering from numerous wounds over the years, Hansen credits Taylor with helping him to heal. However, when his time in Afghanistan was over, he couldn’t bear the thought of leaving Taylor behind – and the challenge to get him back was steep.
The Long Road
Taylor was expected to stay behind and help another soldier with her own bomb-sniffing needs. While Hansen understood, he just hoped that they could be reunited in time. Fast forward two years, and Taylor has now retired from his duties as a bomb sniffer and is heading home to be with Hansen and co.
United Airlines played a major role in helping it happen, lending a little hand to make sure it could all go down. As soon as Taylor spotted her former comrade waiting for her, she belted towards him and rushed into his arms.
Soldiers might be hard as nails, but we’d wager even the biggest killing machine would find it hard to not find their eyes going a little dewy at this one. Welcome home, team!
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