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Afghanistan's Most Loyal Troops

Afghanistan dogs Brady Rusk and Eli
Eli, a bomb sniffing labrador greets Brady Rusk, 12, brother of US Marine Colton Rusk, who was killed in Afghanistan.

By Tony Perry For The Los Angeles Times

When Pfc. Colton Rusk was shot in Afghanistan by a Taliban sniper, a Marine dog named Eli immediately ran to him, guarding the downed Marine against further attack.

Even Marines who rushed to Rusk’s side were initially kept at bay by the snarling Labrador, who had been Rusk’s inseparable companion through training and then deployment to a dangerous place called the Sangin Valley.

Rusk, 20, a machine gunner and dog handler from the Camp Pendleton-based 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, died from his wounds that brutal day in early December.

Out of gratitude for Eli’s loyalty to their son, Darrell and Kathy Rusk, with the support of Marine brass, arranged to adopt Eli and take him to their ranch in Orange Grove, Texas, near Corpus Christi.

Such adoptions are unusual, though not unprecedented. Last week, Rusk’s family took possession of Eli at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, a major training site for military dogs.

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Gladys Leinweber via Facebook

good

Katherine Chapman via Facebook

A BLACK dog !!!!

Maureen Tshinene via Facebook

Why did U comment on the dog being black?

Lisa Angelini via Facebook

Awww, Dog Files!! My heart is melting with this pic! LOVE it! Congratulations to the Rusk family and Eli!

Donna Momorella via Facebook
Donna Momorella via Facebook
10 years ago

I’m glad Eli made it home to the Rusk family, but I wish his handler had been able to return safely, too. RIP, Pfc. Rusk. Thank you for your sacrifice.

Edith D. Robles via Facebook

I like happy endings..:)) I’m glad ELi is with Pfc. Rusk’s family..

Teri Hauck via Facebook

So sweet.

Donna Houlne via Facebook

Made me cry like a baby. God Bless Eli & glad he made it to theRusk Family!!! RIP PFC Rusk

Cjustpeachie
Cjustpeachie
10 years ago

THANK GOD ELI IS SAFE WITH COLTONS LOVING FAMILY. BLESS THEM FOR ADOPTING ELI. I’M SURE THEIR SON WOULD WANT IT THAT WAY.

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