Marines reunite with beloved dogs they rescued overseas

Dogs reunited with Marines who saved them overseas
Published: May. 4, 2023 at 10:27 AM CDT
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SURF CITY, N.C. (WECT/Gray News) – Military members are known to be heroes, but three Marines from southeastern North Carolina have a heroic tale of a different kind after saving a dog and her puppies.

“Seeing them for the first time again is definitely a heartwarming thing,” Sgt. Joshua Echevarria said. “I don’t know if he fully recognizes me or remembers me, but I definitely remember him.”

A reunion of the Marines and the dogs was nearly a year in the making after U.S. Marines Sgt. Colin Bettner, Cpt. Britta Vivaldi and Echevarria found a pregnant, malnourished dog while deployed in southeast Asia.

“She was pretty much being starved and on death row,” Vivaldi said. “One of the Marines broke her out of the box in which she was being starved in and brought her over to our camp.”

They nursed her back to health and helped her give birth to three puppies.

The Marines named the mother Cardi and the puppies Cindy, Hector, and Ivar. Quickly, the pups became part of the Marines’ pack.

The group of Marines couldn’t bear to leave the pups behind, so Paws of War stepped in to help.

Paws of War is a nonprofit organization that honors and supports veterans and active military members.

“They were very serious about helping us out,” Echevarria said. “I’m very thankful for them because without them, these dogs would still be suffering over there.”

After a lengthy process, the dogs were finally reunited with the Marines in southeastern North Carolina.