I love stories like this! I'll admit it, I can't watch a Veteran Coming Home video and not burst into tears.

This reunion also hit me right in the feels.

Retired Maine Sgt. Jacob Varela and the military dog he once served with, the now 9-year-old, Atilla were reunited at Chicago's Midway International Airport last week.

Atilla was a Marine K-9 German shepherd where he was a trainer tracker.

He and Varela served side by side for three years in a special operations unit.

Varela said:

We were together for everything. Everywhere I went, he was with me. When we were out in the field… he was with me. If I was drinking water, he was drinking water; if I was eating, he was eating. He becomes like your teammate"


The two parted ways in July of 2017 and hadn't seen each since then until Varela found out his old friend could no longer work due to his age.  That's when he made the decision to adopt him.

The two were brought back together with the help of a group called Mission K-9 Rescue, who work hard to make sure these sort of reunions take place.

These dogs serve with these guys. They spend 24/7 training with them, putting their lives on the line together, so there's a bond that we can't understand,” said Kristen Maurer with Mission K-9 Rescue.

In the video of the two seeing each other for the first time in a while, Varela had this to say:

The way he reacted, the way he jumped on me, he knows who I am, so that's good,

The pair will now start a new journey together, one where Varela is a full-time college student finishing his degree and the other enjoying a well-deserved retirement.

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