NORTH GREENBUSH, N.Y.---Major Andrew Pinckney of the New York Army National Guard, returned home from a nine month deployment in Afghanistan just a few weeks ago.
Little did his family know, a 6-month-old puppy would soon follow; Pinckney and the puppy were finally reunited last week.
Harris was born in Afghanistan, while Major Pinckney was deployed there.
But Harris' story begins before he was even born, with his mother, a stray dog named Sheba, who lived outside of Pinckney's post.
"One day we were coming back, probably two months into the rotation, and my guys noticed she was laying down," he says. "Then you got closer, you noticed she had puppies, so it was a no-brainer."
Pinckney says from there, his unit built a shelter outside the post for Sheba, supplying her with some food and water.
Pinckney says Sheba brought comfort to him and his unit while deployed.
"Most of us have dogs at home, and what we were dealing with out there was not typical to the things we deal with here," says Pinckney. "So they were a reminder of what it's like to be home."
Thanks to a New York City adoption agency, which raised funds to bring Sheba and her puppies to the United States, they all have new homes with the soldiers in Pinckney's unit and Pinckney's family.
"It's just a wonderful story," says Pinckney's wife, Jaye. "To have a bunch of manly soldiers take on this maternal role with these pups is just incredibly sweet."
"The good part of it is that the family gets to see a little bit of what I was doing while over there and took a little piece back with me," says Pinckney.
The puppies' mother Sheba will be used as a therapy dog for soliders returning home to the United States with post traumatic stress disorder.
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