Soldier Pleads For Help To Bring Combat Dog Back Home
After returning from Afghanistan specialist Brent Grommet has been faced with spinal injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and coping with PTSD. The 23 year old soldier is assigned to the 101st Airborne Division of Fort Campbell, Kentucky. Instead of focusing on his own recovery at the moment he’s fighting another battle; trying to bring his combat dog back home.
The young German Shepherd Matty with whom Grommet was paired with in 2012 is living in Fort Bragg. They were first paired together as part of the Tactical Explosive Detector Dog Program and after graduating in November of 2012 they were deployed to Afghanistan together. They were both injured in separate IED attacks.
When they returned from their deployment in July of last year Grommet returned to Fort Campbell to prepare for medial retirement due to his injuries. Grommet was eventually able to track Matty back to Fort Bragg where he was being treated for a torn ACL. He was also being prepared for adoption.
“When you lose a dog it’s really hard, but after you’ve been through everything with that dog, and you come back and you’re told ‘Okay, you got ten minutes to say goodbye to your dog and then we’re taking him?’ It’s a very rough place to be left off on,” said Spc. Grommet.
The Grommet’s were submitting and re-submitting adoption applications for Matty. They were told the first application was lost. A few times they were told not to worry about it, everyone knew Grommet was going to adopt Matty.
After many months of calls checking on his adoption status Grommet received a letter in March of this year stating that Matty had been adopted.
Grommet was devastated, he and his family had a military contact track Matty’s adoption to a civilian in the Fort Bragg area. They were told the man who adopted Matty was unwilling to give him up, he was too attached.
Grommet is hoping the man will have a change of heart when he hears his pleas.
“Veterans of war can call up their battle buddies and talk and help each other. Lifelong friendships have been formed in fox holes,” he writes in a public letter. “Matty and I was continually moving from unit to unit, I didn’t get human companionship, mine was canine. Matty was my constant. It is for this reason that I am requesting your help in order to try and get Matty back. This would mean the world to me.”
Here’s a video of Grommet speaking about Matty and his continued mission to get his service dog back.