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When a sniper’s bullet struck Pfc. Colton Rusk, the first to reach his body was his best friend Eli – a bomb-sniffing, black Labrador so loyal he snapped at other Marines who rushed to his fallen handler.

The two were inseparable. Military dogs are supposed to sleep in kennels when deployed, but Rusk broke the rules and let Eli curl up with him on his cot. Other times, the dog took up the entire sleeping bag. Rusk ate ready-to-eat meals, so that’s what Eli ate instead of dog food, Darrell Rusk said.

"Whatever is mine is his," Colton Rusk wrote on his Facebook page.

After Rusk died Dec. 6, his parents decided they wanted to adopt his dog. They picked Eli up Thursday at Lackland Air Force to take him back to their home in rural South Texas. It was only the second time that a U.S. military dog has been adopted by the family of a handler killed in combat.

(Source: leathernecklove)


Tags: #usmc #marines #marine corps #marine k9 #service dog #colton rusk #military #troops

  1. imbored90 reblogged this from usa-cav and added:
    Rest easy
  2. usa-cav reblogged this from thelemonizer
  3. thelemonizer reblogged this from salutethetroops and added:
    I’ve seen this Marines full story before. When he was hit; it knocked him down obviously, but his dog literally jumped...
  4. icedevil19 reblogged this from caffe-due
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  6. the-bluerose reblogged this from jarheadsonexhibit
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  8. jd4pic reblogged this from jarheadsonexhibit and added:
    :’-(
  9. the-grassisgreener reblogged this from leathernecklove
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  15. lovessox reblogged this from cowboyrednecksocks and added:
    It’s such a shame he looks like a really great guy! I love the picture were both the dog and Rusk have their tongues...
  16. fuzzyphantom73 reblogged this from hypnosman135 and added:
    Thanks to all those who serve our country
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