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Veteran Fights To Adopt Diego, His Bomb Sniffing Army Dog (Slides)

Veteran Fights To Adopt Diego, His Bomb Sniffing Army Dog (Slides)
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Former Sgt. Logan Black began suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder after he returned from his deployment in Iraq in 2007. His reoccurring dreams centered on one thing; the fate of Diego, the yellow Labrador that sniffed-out bombs and weapons alongside him. Black could not rest until he found the dog.

From 2006 to 2007, Sergeant Black developed a strong bond with Diego as the two searched for explosives and weapons in Fallujah. Black began training the bomb sniffing dog when he was still a puppy at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri.

Together the duo survived several attacks including an IED that hit the back of a vehicle that carried them. Black said the jolt was so strong, “Diego leaped from the back seat and shook uncontrollably.”

Black always worried whether the incident caused Diego to develop PTSD. “After that attack, any kind of loud noises would send him into a similar state,” he said. Black calmed the dog by handing him his favorite toy, a hard rubber cone.

Since leaving the service in May 2007, Black began calling his old Army unit every six months to find out how Diego was doing. The former sergeant never received an answer.

Finally he started a Facebook page and Twitter campaign to locate and adopt Diego. That led to contact from the dog’s second handler, who said Diego had been sent back to the U.S. after serving an additional yearlong deployment in Iraq.

On Monday Black found out that Diego, now 8, is stationed at Lackland Air Force Base. He is being used to train new soldiers how to be dog handlers.

Black also learned about a little known program set up by the Army that gives prior handlers priority to adopt the dog they worked with in the military. Last year, 319 military dogs were adopted and 90 percent were taken home by their former handlers.

Technical Sergeant Joseph Null, who runs the adoption program at Lackland, agreed to help Black and Diego through the process once the dog retires. However there is no retirement date set for Diego at this point. Diego is still playing a vital role for the Army.

“Without dogs like Diego, there would be no military working dog program,” said Null. “He’s a critical asset to developing future dog handlers.”

Black hopes he won’t have to wait too long to be reunited with Diego. He plans to train him to be a visiting service dog for soldiers with PTSD.

Click Here to learn more about adopting military dogs.

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Photo Credit: LoganBlack

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151 comments

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1:35PM PDT on Aug 29, 2014

Retired Diego and let former Sgt. Logan Black have his much needed friend back. Sounds like he went out of his way to find this dog, so they are clearly meant to be together.

8:39AM PDT on Aug 17, 2013

Thanks for sharing.

7:31AM PDT on Apr 14, 2013

let them stay together,they are trueful and faithful friends for life,thank you for sharing

3:18AM PDT on Mar 19, 2013

Great story!! I'm so glad that Sgt. Black finally found Diego after so long. A lot of people would have given up on this search a few months into it. This proves just how much Sgt. Black loves and respects Diego. There is a bond between the two of them that is so special and precious, it should be honored with respect and dignity. My wish for Sgt. Black and Diego is that they will have a long and healthy life together when he finally comes back home.

9:30AM PST on Mar 6, 2013

The veteran and the dog bonded for life in the most meaningful ways and the government should show their appreciation for their service to their country and allow the dog to be adopted immediately so that he can go home to be with his loved ones.

5:14PM PST on Jan 10, 2013

Great story and wonderful dog.

3:52PM PST on Nov 26, 2012

Its time to let Diego quit the Army and be reunited with sgt Black. They both so deserve to be with eatchother!

1:59PM PST on Nov 16, 2012

Thank you for sharing.

7:35PM PDT on Oct 25, 2012

Please Dear God let the Army retire Diego now as he has served our Country and let him and Black be together. Judy

12:51PM PDT on Aug 11, 2012

Grazie ad entrambi.

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