The bonds formed between service members and the K-9s they work alongside are lifelong. The relationship between Marine Byung “BK” Kang and Military Working Dog Blue II P491 is a testament to the power of that lifetime, human-animal bond.
During BK’s first deployment to Afghanistan, injury and/or death from IED attacks was a constant risk for him and his comrades. Realizing the threat IEDs posed, BK volunteered to serve as a handler for an explosive detection dog as these K-9s’ powerful noses are one of the best lines of defense in detecting and unarming IEDs.
In his second deployment to Afghanistan, BK was paired with MWD Blue, a loving pup who excelled at her job. Together, BK and Blue went on more than 300 combat missions. According to BK, during the time they served together, she saved his life, and the lives of their fellow troops, so many times that they lost count.
One night after completing a patrol together, BK made a promise to Blue. He told her: “What you’ve done for me and my guys over here in Afghanistan, we cannot pay back. So, I’m going to give you a good home where you can cuddle all day, not worrying about going to war and finding bombs.”
After their tour ended together, BK fought to keep track of Blue so that he could keep his promise to Blue. His wife Wendy helped by writing to Senator David Perdue, R-GA, for help in bringing Blue home. Thanks to their tireless efforts, when Blue was finally up for retirement in 2017, BK and his wife were able to adopt Blue and give her the peaceful retirement with their family that she so rightfully earned.
Recognizing Blue’s contributions to our country and incredible story, American Humane has named MWD Blue our 2020 Military Hero Dog. She’s up against six other finalists for the title of America’s top dog. You can vote for Blue to be the 2020 American Hero Dog at www.herodogawards.org.