In 2017, Daniel Rindone was deployed to Syria. He probably expected many things to happen and trained heavily before deploying, but he still made a very unexpected find while serving his country.
A puppy. Many puppies, actually, but one, in particular, stole his heart: a little, fluffy, golden puppy who he named “Syri.” She and other local puppies discovered the soldiers and learned that if they stuck around, they’d get food, so they quickly became close companions.
As time went on, Rindone realized his connection with Syri was something he wanted to maintain, so he started looking for ways to get the pup stateside. He contacted the SPCA in September, and they told him they had an international program in place that could help.
“I have this little dog here that I want to bring home,” he told them, according to The Dodo. “How do I do it?”
Syri and some of the other young dogs were taken to the SPCA location in Erbil, Iraq, where their paperwork and health updates would be taken care of before they were flown to the United States.
Unfortunately, the Erbil Airport was shut down shortly after her arrival, and there was no immediate way to get Syri to Rindone. It wasn’t until January that she finally made her journey to New York to be reunited with her soldier.
“Five months ago, I met this pup fresh into my last deployment during Operation Inherent Resolve,” Rindone posted on Facebook on Jan. 25. “She was weak, skinny, shy, but I could tell that she had a heart of gold and the warmest smile.
“She stayed with me, sharing our food and getting stronger in the following months until she was handed over to the SPCA:I, who I found and reached out to shortly after she arrived in hopes that I could find her a way home with me. If there is any organization that can make miracles happen, it’s this one.”
“A political dispute resulting in civil war following our departure kept her stuck in Iraq for four months. In that time, this organization fed her, cared for her, gave her medical attention, and relentlessly searched for a way to get her to the US.
“Three days ago, after flying through Lebanon, Paris, and finally to JFK Airport, this little survivor named Syri is finally here thanks to that great organization.”
“I’ll be eternally grateful to them for reuniting me with the puppy that was a light to me in an otherwise dark and awful deployment,” he wrote. “Welcome home Syri!”
Syri seems to be taking to life in New York and is helping Rindone readjust to civilian life. He saved her, and now she’s saving him.
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