Former Marine reunited with his bomb sniffing dog eight years later

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In Charleston, South Carolina, a face full of happy tears on former infantry Marine Chase Smoak flowed in an amazing reunion with the bomb sniffing dog that served by his side more than eight years ago.

According to Smoak’s social media page, he had been separated from the black Labrador Retriever, LLuke, after his deployment time in the Middle East ended. As Smoak kneeled down to give his dog a farewell hug at the time, he promised LLuke he would find him again some day.

And what are the odds? Smoak never stopped looking for Luke and found out the dog had been living with someone in South Carolina also – just two hours away.

“After 8 long years, I got a text message that I thought would never come. We finally found my bomb dog, LLuke. He was adopted by a wonderful family and is here in South Carolina. They have gratefully extended an invite to reunite the two of us and are sending pictures in the meantime.
It’s hard to explain what war does to a man. The loss and injury of your brothers chisels at your soul. It’s something many combat veterans spend their entire lives trying to fix, but despite all efforts, never fully heal. Today is a healing day for me.”
Luke’s hair may have a bit more white in it, he still looked good.
“First and foremost, I want to thank everyone for all the love sent our way. I don’t know a word capable of describing today’s reunion but I will say, it was life changing. LLuke’s new family is AMAZING. He’s happy, healthy, and loving life – that’s all I could ever ask for.
I want to emphasize one point: this story is much larger than me seeing LLuke again. It’s a chance to honor these dogs of war, the civilian trainers who repurposed duck dogs to find bombs, and the men of 3rd BN 2nd Marines that paid the ultimate sacrifice for our great nation.”
Many thanks to the Marines, their families and of course the brave dogs who served by their sides. Live long and well.
3rd Battalion, 2d Marines, India Co., 2nd Plt.
(Betio Bastards)
“Unus Supra”
(Second photo via Shelbie Marie Goulding)
(Photos via Facebook Chase Smoak)
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Such a sweet parrot!

2 replies
  1. Chase Smoak says:

    Thanks for sharing the story but please provide photo credit accordingly, especially in scenarios were permission was not requested.

    Best
    Chase

    Reply
    • Cheryl Hanna says:

      Edited to reflect correct spelling of photographer and credited to FB photos. Again, thank you for your service. Your story was amazing.

      Reply

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