(CBS) – Two veterans of war have found each other.
David Sapyta served in Vietnam. Lucy, his dog, served in Afghanistan. By adopting Lucy, David helped save her life.
CBS 2’s Harry Porterfield says they are both someone you should know.
You could say it is a perfect destiny for these two war veterans. David, who served in the 101st Airborne Rangers and earned two Purple Hearts and, Lucy, a German Shepherd that served five years in Afghanistan sniffing out land mines.
David came home to Downers Grove, but Lucy almost became a casualty of convenience.
“After they are done with their service it’s too expensive to bring the dogs home — that’s the end of their life,” he says.
Lucy was among 10 dogs who were rescued in Afghanistan and transported to Texas, where David met the 8-year-old, Dutch-born canine.
“I feel that, as a fellow veteran, that she should have a life after service, too,” David says.
Life after service for Lucy means a continuous treatment for an eye infection.
She’s trained not to bark. She’s also trained to walk at the left side of her owner, the way she did when she was on duty as a land-mine dog.
As with many Vietnam veterans, David is still tormented by nightmares of war. So is his dog.
Lynn Sapyta, David’s wife, says: “They kind of comfort each other.”
One group working to bring both service dogs and soldier pets to the U.S. from Afghanistan is Puppy Rescue Mission. Click here to learn more.