Blue, a black Labrador, was a K-9 assigned to a platoon in Afghanistan. Blue’s handler was Byung Kang ‘BK’. The two worked together on more than 300 combat missions as part of the US Marine Corps in 2011-2012. Blue’s training was to detect improvised explosive devices (IEDs); she was excellent at her job.
On their very first mission, Blue found an IED. That IED could have taken out a few members of the platoon if Blue had not found it. Since that day, she gained the trust of the platoon. On multiple occasions, she’d go out on her own to fish out these IEDs.
BK had learned her body language and understood when she needed to explore and sniff out IEDs. Every time she found explosives, she’d communicate the find by lying down. A team would then move in to disarm the device, and Blue would be called to get a toy as a reward.
According to Byung, Blue had saved their lives countless times. As such, he promised her that he had would give her a good home once she retired from active duty.
After the Afghanistan mission, they both got redeployed. BK lost track of where Blue was. But he never forgot his promise. He wanted to keep his promise to Blue so badly that he told his future wife, Wendy, about her. Wendy Kang, who was also a veteran, used her contacts to help trace Blue. The couple eventually found Blue and officially adopted her in November 2018.
Blue now lives with the Kang family – the couple, their 2 sons, 5 dogs and 2 cats at their home in Georgia. She is blissfully enjoying her retirements despite a nasty cancer scare and loves snuggles with all family members.
Blue is engaged in various activities post retirement. She has received various awards such as the US War Dogs Association for her service in the military. She is now a semi-finalist in the 2020 American Humane Hero Dog Awards.