Will Eli come home to Texas from Afghanistan?

Labrador Retriever, Nessie.Image via Wikipedia
Corpus Christi Caller-Times:

When U.S. Marine Pfc. Colton Rusk was shot Dec. 5 by Taliban fighters, an unconventional Marine named Eli rushed to save his best friend.

“Eli crawled on top of him when he went down, and would not let anybody get near him,” said Yvonne Rusk, Colton’s aunt, who heard the story from fellow Marines.

Rusk, tall, lean and good looking, and Eli, 90 pounds of black fur and muscle, were buddies from the moment they met.

After Eli and Rusk, were deployed to Afghanistan, they were inseparable. There was that incident when Eli decided he should be able to eat in the chow hall like all the other Marines. He and Rusk had to find another place to eat that day. And when Rusk crawled into his cot at night, he had to beat Eli there because the dog has an aversion to sleeping on the ground.

“Eli took whatever part of the cot he wanted and Colton got the rest,” Yvonne Rusk said.

“That part was against regulations,” Rusk’s grandmother Jan Rusk added.

Because of Rusk’s love and pride in Eli, his parents consider the bomb dog a member of the family.

Rusk’s parents, Darrell and Kathy, hope Eli, a Labrador retriever, comes home and lives with them.

“It may take a while, but we hope it happens,” Darrell Rusk said.

Gov. Rick Perry said Wednesday that his office already is working on Eli’s honorable discharge from the Marines, so that he can live with the Rusks. Key local Republicans visiting with the governor at the airport Wednesday also told the Rusks that they would contact U.S. Sens. John Cornyn and Kay Bailey Hutchison, both Texas Republicans, to help with the dog’s discharge.

Others are also trying to make it happen. Labs are wonderful dogs and I can understand why Rusks' parents would want to keep him. I hope Eli comes home to them soon.
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