DENVER (CBS4)– A heartwarming reunion at Denver International Airport between two military veterans was a little different than most because this reunion included a man and his dog.

After more than a year apart, Marine Corps veteran Matt Foster waited anxiously to welcome home his best friend, a 7-year-old black lab named Mick.

Marine veteran Matt Foster is reunited with his dog, Mick, at DIA (credit: CBS)

Marine veteran Matt Foster is reunited with his dog, Mick, at DIA (credit: CBS)

“Kept me alive, he’s my best friend,” said Foster, a Colorado native.

Mick worked alongside Foster and his platoon for eight months in Afghanistan.

“I didn’t cuddle with any of my fellow marines, I didn’t feed any of them either for the most part, but I’d say it’s about the same, he’s a brother,” said Foster.

Mick’s job was to sniff out improvised explosive devices, or IEDs. Together Mick and Foster completed more than 180 successful patrols.

“They are putting their life on the line just as much as we are and the sad truth is a lot of dogs die doing this and it’s because they are trying to protect us,” said Foster. “It’s just amazing what they do.”

After four tours, Mick is retiring. With the help of the American Humane Association and Mission K9 Rescue he’s found his new home with an old friend.

“These guys, they are there in battle, getting them back is part of the healing process for them, it’s important,” said Mission K9 Rescue spokeswoman Kristen Maurer.

After nearly a year of trying to adopt Mick, Foster finally reunited with the dog, making him part of his family.

Foster’s final mission, “My next one is going to make sure he’s spoiled.”



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