By Amy Paige for Little Things


As an Army National Guard medevac pilot, Nick Pierzchalski worked hard flying wounded soldiers back to safety.

Though he was able to save many lives, the rigorous and emotional job took a toll on Nick’s morale.

Then one day, as if it were fated to happen, a young stray dog ran up to Nick and befriended him and his fellow military men. The dog, whom they named Airys, had no family in the war zone of Iraq.

She came to depend on Nick at the army base, and vice versa. She became his light in the darkness.

Nick even built Airys a kennel right there in their hangar. The pair became inseparable.

When it came time for Nick to return back home to Florida, he knew he would have to leave Airys behind — but he remained determined to somehow find a way to get her out of Iraq and bring her to the States.

With the help of SPCA International, Nick finally made it happen. He allowed for their reunion to be filmed for the live local news, and he was so nervous to see Airys again. He was mostly nervous about whether or not she would even remember him — and that the on-air reunion would be disappointing.

Then Nick opened her cage…



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