"Before I deployed to Afghanistan I never imagined what the life style would be like. I heard stories, watched documentaries and just tried to picture what my day-to-day life would be like. Never in a million years did I think a dog would be apart of the picture.
On my compound (where I stay) we have 5 dogs. One, the head dog, has been here for over 6 years. Most of these dogs are nuances and get in the way, none of them are hardly worth keeping as pets. However, one day this 8-week-old puppy showed up with a fun, energetic personality like most puppies usually do.
As I sat and observed this little pup, the other dogs started attacking him here and there. After a while of seeing this puppy get bullied, but still holding his own for being such a small pup, I pulled the other dogs off of him. After that, the dog, which I named Leonidas for never backing down to any dog, started following me around.
One day just about chow time, we started to receive motar attacks from our local Taliban. For Indirect Fire, our plan is to get to a hardened shelter as quickly and safely as possible. Once I reached the door, Leonidas came out of nowhere. Like myself he wanted nothing to do with the incoming motars He was nervous and shaking. I scooped him up and brought him with me until we were given the all clear.
I noticed he had fleas, so I gave him a shower. Until recently he was being washed with AXE Shampoo. Leonidas follows me around everywhere I go. When he is not allowed to be where I am, he will sit outside my hooch whining until I come. When I whistle, he comes running at full speed and listens to me well.
After returning from long missions, it’s the best feeling in the world knowing I can come back to my compound and have someone there waiting for me. Leonidas is a great puppy who has put a smile on my face since I met him.
He is sure to be an ever better pup living in the states. I can’t leave this puppy here, there’s a saying, leave no man behind, and ask you to please help me bring Leonidas back to the United States so he can live a more fulfilling and longer life with my family and I. I will send Kaydee more pictures asap. Thanks everyone for your support" - Tim Johannsen