There is a unique and strong bond that develops between a serviceman or woman and his or her K9 partner especially when they go on tour in dangerous areas. They often find comfort and rely on each other for survival. But most often, they find themselves separated from each other when their deployment is done.
Many of these veterans try to adopt the military dogs that they worked with. Sometimes, they are successful. For Mark Lee Jr., it took almost ten years before he was reunited with his trusted friend, Rayco.
Mark and Rayco were partners in Afghanistan. They were both in the bomb detection team, and they played a crucial role in keeping everyone safe. Unfortunately, though, Mark was injured during one of their patrols.
This injury led to Mark’s retirement from service. He had to return home. But because Rayco was still young, he had many years of service ahead of him. It was very emotional for Mark to say goodbye to his four-legged partner. Almost a decade passed before they finally got the chance to meet again.
Adjusting to civilian life proved to be very difficult for Mark. His mental scars went much deeper than the wounds he received. His life went spiraling out of control, and he wound up in jail and rehab several times.
Not having Rayco by his side made matters worse. He longed for his companionship as he was the only creature that he felt comfortable with. His therapists understood this and knew that it was crucial to get the two together.
A nonprofit group organization called Justice for TEDD Handlers got wind of his situation and made several calls. They found Rayco, who was then set to retire, and arranged everything so that Mark can be reunited with his best friend.
The two eventually met in Washington, D.C., and it was as if they were never apart. Rayco immediately recognized his former partner and was excited to see him again.
From then, Mark’s life made a complete turnaround. He became more stable and found a new purpose. Together with Rayco, they moved to Texas and have dedicated themselves to helping veteran military dogs get over PTSD and reunite them with their former handlers.