Watching the arrival of a military coffin back home is among the grimmest experiences one could ever witness. But what comes after a flag-draped coffin arrives at the tarmac Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta in this video adds another level of emotion to the situation altogether that speaks to the incredible bond between man and dog. It’s nothing short of inspirational.
On this occasion, the casket of a military dog trained in detecting improvised explosive devices (IEDs) follows that of the soldier who worked with the dog in helping protect soldiers and civilians. A group of special baggage handlers that perform the solemn duty of transporting the coffins in Atlanta, known as the Delta Honor Guard, give the casket of the fallen pup as much respect as that of the soldier. Dogs have worked alongside and helped save the lives of soldiers for centuries but watching one of these special animals honored with his companion moves the soul.
The whole scene, with everyone within eyesight standing at attention in respect – including passengers at the airport who are looking at the ceremony in the distance – gives us a whole new appreciation for the sacrifices men and pets make for the wellbeing of others.
Not that you needed any more proof how much humans and pets share in their lives, but when the US Military and those charged with respecting the bodies of fallen heroes keep man and his best friend together after they’ve passed away, it shows how strong a bond there is, even in death.
Coincidentally, a major Hollywood movie titled Max that is slated for release in the near future centers on a military service dog and his experiences with a soldier and his family. For all the dogs that Max represents, we salute and honor you.