Just in time for the holidays, there’s been a heartwarming reunion to warm your heart!
U.S. Air Force Staff Sergeant Mike Alcala and his loyal, former military working dog, John, finally got back together after being apart for over two years.
The joy in their reunion is truly something special!
As John, the seasoned 10-year-old German shepherd, approaches retirement, the nonprofit organization American Humane orchestrated a surprise pre-holiday reunion for the inseparable duo in San Antonio, Texas.
Alcala and John’s Enduring Connection
The deep bond between Alcala and John was forged during the three years they worked together, creating a connection that endured the challenges of their daily duties.
The separation occurred in September 2021 when Alcala was reassigned to another base.
Reflecting on their time together, Alcala shared with Fox News Digital:
“We worked together every day for the three years I was there, give or take a few days. The bond started strong and ended stronger.”
Upon learning about John’s impending retirement, Alcala turned to American Humane for assistance in bringing his cherished companion home for adoption.
Adopting retired military working dogs can be a complex process.
American Humane specializes in navigating the intricate logistics of international and national transport, paperwork, and associated costs to facilitate the reunion of retired K-9 veterans with their former handlers.
Expressing his gratitude for American Humane’s support, Alcala said:
“When I found out John was up for retirement, of course, I wanted him so bad. I heard about American Humane through a buddy of mine, so I thought I would reach out and see what they could do for me and John. They were gracious to help go pick him up in Hawaii and transport him back to me, without me having to pay anything. It’s been a blessing for us.”
John, an explosive-detection dog with eight years of service at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Hawaii, garnered distinction for protecting civilians, fellow service members, and high-profile figures, including U.S. presidents, first ladies, and foreign dignitaries.
His illustrious military career was celebrated in a special retirement ceremony in Hawaii last week.
Dr. Robin Ganzert, president and CEO of American Humane, expressed gratitude to all American veterans, emphasizing:
“Bringing John home for the holidays was the best gift we could give to these two military heroes.”
American Humane not only facilitated John’s journey from Hawaii to San Antonio but also committed to covering all of his veterinary care for the remainder of his life.
In an emotional reunion on December 20, Alcala, joined by his wife Brittany and their 10-month-old daughter, introduced John as the newest member of their family, marking a poignant moment in their enduring bond.
This heartwarming reunion encapsulates the season’s spirit and honors the dedication of human and canine military heroes.