This military dog and his handler were wounded by an IED blast while stationed in Afghanistan. They were both hit by shrapnel—bomb fragments.
The U.S. military awarded 22-year-old Army specialist Andrew Brown and his hardworking canine, Rocky, matching Purple Heart medals. Rocky’s medal was affixed to his collar prior to going through surgery on his broken leg. Through serving their country together, the bond between this dog and his ‘dog daddy’ was unbreakable.
The Purple Heart is awarded in the name of the President to members of the U.S. armed forces who are killed or wounded by an instrument of war. It is specifically a combat decoration.
Dogs can’t officially be awarded military awards like Purple Hearts, but Sgt. 1st Class Michael Garrett, public affairs officer of the brigade explained, “The Purple Heart in the photo was placed on Rocky as a sign of respect and solidarity between him and Brown during their recovery.”
Andrew Brown and Rocky had been serving together for two years, ABC reported, and they were deployed in October.
“He does everything,” Brown told ABC. “I’m just really a guy with a leash.”
On December 9, the 89th Military Police Brigade posted this photo, which went viral, on their Facebook. This photo depicts Rocky with a Purple Heart clipped to his collar, recovering in an animal hospital.
Two days later, an update was posted online concerning Rocky and Brown’s recovery, saying that the pair is doing well after treatment, and that “they are both very thankful for your thoughts and prayers and are in the process of heading back home,” read the Military Police Brigade’s Facebook post.
Brown later returned to Washington, D.C., whilst Rocky remained in a German animal hospital to undergo surgery on his rear leg, which was shattered in the blast.
Although there was concern that Rocky couldn’t walk anymore, following months of rehabilitation, Rocky’s rear leg mended, and he’s back on all four paws and walking again. “Dogs are just resilient like that,” said Brown.
The two reunited once again following Rocky’s recovery. “He saw me and he was like, “Oh, there’s my dad!” said Brown.
Brown says he’d definitely adopt Rocky if the military dog retires from service.