POSTED FEB 22 2019 09:57PM EST
UPDATED FEB 24 2019 04:08PM EST

 - A U.S. Army sergeant finally got to hold the dog he bonded with while stationed in Iraq. Friday, the SPCA International helped reunite the two back on American soil. 

During his third deployment, Sgt. Kevyn Solarez met the young pup. 

“When you're deployed around the holidays, everyone gets a little low. Morale drops down a little bit because everybody wants to be home with their families, and it just so happened that's when Josie walked up to our front gate,” said Solarez. 

The then two-month-old shepherd mix quickly won Solarez over. “For about two months, half of my food, for every meal I would get, that's what she was eating,” Solarez said.  


In return, she helped make his time overseas more bearable. “Just us kind of going through the hard times makes our bond a little stronger than average,” said Solarez.  

Which is why the Army Sgt couldn't bear the thought of leaving her in Iraq to fend for herself. 

“The SPCA International, they made it super easy,” Solarez said.  

After more than a month away from his new best friend, Kevyn finally got to make the drive to Austin-Bergstrom International Airport to welcome Josie to the United States. “It's been almost 45 days, really excited, kind of nervous, too, but it makes it all worth it. Today is going to make the whole deployment worth it,” said Solarez.  

Although a little nervous at first, it didn't take long before Josie walked back into the arms of her long lost friend. “I guess we're just going to get her acquainted, show her where her bed is at and feed her some food, and snuggle, lots of snuggling,” Solarez said. 



Kevyn said one of fellow soldiers adopted Josie’s brother and will be flying him home in the next few days. They're already planning a reunion for the two dogs. Solarez also already created an Instagram account for his pup so you can follow all her adventures - @heytherejosie

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