09 Military Working Dog 2After more than a year’s separation, a Fort Bragg soldier has been reunited with a former partner. Army Sgt. Nicholas Milano got a big surprise when he arrived at his Nash County home the other day for a birthday party. A surprise gift was hidden among the well-wishers. But it didn’t take long for “Lion” to bolt from the crowd into Milano’s arms. Lion is a retired military working dog. He and Milano traveled the world in the Army for almost seven years. The pair even went to war together, serving two deployments in Afghanistan. The 10-year-old German Shepherd is in retirement now and gets to live on the couch.

“And he’ll be sleeping in bed with me and you,” Milano laughed while looking at his wife.

“I had zero idea, this is crazy,” Milano said of the surprise. “His [Lion’s] job was either to bite people, which he never had to do, or find bombs and weapons.”

When Milano got orders for Fort Bragg, they parted ways. He had to leave Lion at the base in Germany. “This dog has saved my husband’s life, more than once, along with others,” said Kristy, Milano’s wife.

Kristy secretly adopted Lion upon his retirement. She worked with Mission K-9 Rescue to make the dog’s adoption happen. The nonprofit paid to fly Lion from Germany to Houston, Texas. Once he arrived in Texas, a staff member drove 20 hours to reunite him with Milano in North Carolina.

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