When Cpl. Byung “BK” Kang was serving his second tour of duty in Afghanistan with the United States Marine Corps, he met the Labrador who would go on to become his closest buddy- Blue.
The number of times that the dog has prevented fatalities among his platoon’s members is so high that he has stopped counting. During Byung’s deployment in Afghanistan from 2011 to 2012, the two of them participated in over 300 separate combat operations.
Byung was able to decipher Blue’s body language and understand when the dog wanted to examine a possible IED in his role as the dog’s handler.
During his tour of duty, he allowed her to go ahead of the group, which may have had anywhere from four to sixty Marines, medical experts, and Navy corpsmen at any one time.
Blue would signal to him that she had located an explosive by laying down whenever she found one. Byung, age 31, was indebted to the dog for preserving their lives, and as a token of his appreciation, he made a vow to the animal to offer a home where she would not need to worry about explosives.
“I told her that what she had done for me and my troops out here in Afghanistan was something that we could never pay back.”
After the completion of their mission, Blue was transferred to another location, but Byung remained resolute in his commitment to keep his vow.
In point of fact, one of the first talks he had with Wendy, his future wife and also a veteran of the United States Marine Corps, was about his intention to adopt Blue after she has completed her service.
Wendy was aware of how much Blue meant to Byung, and as a result, she sought out to other female Marines in an effort to track down Blue and adopt her after Byung had completed her military career.
Blue’s seven years of duty in the military came to a conclusion in November 2018, and she was finally able to return home to her Byung as the newest member of the Kang family!
Now that she is 11 years old, the dog is living out her golden years in Lawrenceville, Georgia, with the Kangs’ two boys, five dogs, and two cats. She is having the time of her life. Her go-to pastime is squeezing into a tight embrace.