Brady Rusk, 12, hugs Eli at a retirement and adoption ceremony at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. The bomb-sniffing Labrador retriever was assigned to Brady’s older brother, Marine Pfc. Colton Rusk, 20, who was killed in action in Afghanistan by Taliban sniper fire Dec. 2010. The Department of Defense granted the Rusk’s permission to adopt Eli and allow him to join their family. photo courtesy of: Tech. Sgt. Bennie J. Davis III, USAF

When a sniper’s bullet struck Pfc. Colton Rusk, the first to reach his body was his best friend Eli, a bomb-sniffing, black Labrador. Military dogs are supposed to sleep in kennels when deployed, but Rusk broke the rules and let Eli curl up with him on his cot. Rusk ate ready-to-eat meals, so that’s what Eli ate instead of dog food. "Whatever is mine is his," Rusk wrote. After Rusk died, his parents wanted to adopt his dog. They picked Eli up at Lackland Air Force Base to take him home.

Marine Fights to Adopt Military Dog Before He is Put Down

I WOULD KILL SOMEONE FOR SELLING MY DOG WHILE I WAS DEPLOYED!!!! Please post and help find this dog!! | Soldier Returns Home From Afghanistan To Discover His Dog Had Been Sold On Craiglist

Shortly after Lance Corporal Liam Tasker of the British Royal Army was killed in a firefight with the Taliban, his devoted Army dog Theo suffered a seizure and passed away as well. Some say of a broken heart. Hope they are together in heaven.

Rescued puppy in Iraq...then and now...pure love. LE SQUEEEE *DIES*

'He was my saving grace': Heartwarming story of how U.S. soldier saved abused cat Koshka in Afghanistan... and the feline returned the favor

Sgt. Aaron Yoder was shot in his right leg while trying to protect his dog, Ssg. Bart, as they searched for roadside bombs in southern Afghanistan in early April. He was fired upon by Taliban fighters who intended to kill Bart. Knowing that the soldier dogs have amazing bomb-sniffing skills that are helping allied soldiers detect and remove the deadly devices, Taliban fighters have begun to target soldier dogs because of the life-saving work they do with their handlers. #RealMen

horse hug, Love this

A dog handler serving in Afghanistan not only saved the life of a soldier who had been critically injured by an IED blast but then went on to trace and apprehend the bomb makers with the help of his canine comrade. Lance Corporal Lee Edwards, 27, and his dog Molly were just three metres away from the near fatal blast which threw both of them into the air.

Lab face

The beautiful face of courage: Lance Cpl. William Kyle Carpenter USMC. Carpenter, 21, of Gilbert lost the eye, most of his teeth and use of his right arm from a grenade blast Nov. 21 near Marjah, Helmand Province, Afghanistan. Friends and family say he threw himself in front of the grenade to protect his best friend in Afghanistan, Cpl. Nick Eufrazio. What a HERO!!

“Tactical Explosives Detection dog Howard is a Pit Bull serving in Afghanistan with the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division”

When a sniper’s bullet struck Pfc. Colton Rusk, the first to reach his body was his best friend Eli – a bomb-sniffing, black Labrador so loyal he snapped at other Marines who rushed to his fallen handler. Rusk succumbed to his wounds December 6. Eli was adopted by Colton Rusk's parents and taken home to South Texas.

Lucca, Military Dog Who Worked In Afghanistan, Tours HuffPost Offices (PHOTOS) who later lost a paw in a military explosion - Please remember the sacrifices of these hard working men and animals.

Yellow Labrador Retriever puppies

Yeager, an improvised explosive device detection dog, lies in front of a battlefield cross for Lance Cpl. Abraham Tarwoe, a dog handler and mortarman killed battle in Afghanistan.

A black & yellow Labrador Retriever, a genetic mutation known as a Chimera. Adorable!

Thank you to all of the vets out there--men, women and canines.