By Debbie Gregory.
Photos of Army Spc. Andrew Brown and his canine companion, Rocky, recovering side by side after they were injured in Afghanistan, have gone viral. The photos were posted by the 89th Military Police Brigade on Facebook.
The picture of the military K-9, injured in a bomb explosion, shows Rocky wearing a Purple Heart Medal in a hospital in Germany.
Spc. Brown and Rocky, who have been a team for two years, were working with Special Operations Forces, searching a structure for explosive materials in southern Afghanistan’s Helmand Province on December 3rd, when a bomb exploded, spraying out deadly shrapnel.
Brown, 22, of Eliot, Maine, suffered non-life threatening injuries and will undergo a series of tests for traumatic brain injury. The tests are routine for soldiers injured by roadside bombs. Both Spc. Brown and Rocky are expected to recover from their injuries.
“The Army typically does not process awards for our working dogs the same way we do for our other soldiers,” Army spokesman Sgt. Michal Garrett said. “The Purple Heart in the photo was placed on Rocky as a sign of respect and solidarity between him and Brown during their recovery.”
On December 11th, Brown arrived at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, while Rocky remained in Germany.
On December 15th, the brigade posted another photo of Rocky on Facebook that said, “The veterinarians in Germany taking care of Rocky have closed up his wounds, repaired his leg, and are keeping an eye on him around the clock. He is expected to make a full recovery, and depending on how fast he recovers, could be home soon. Both Rocky and SPC Brown are doing very well and are grateful for the outpouring of support. We can’t wait to have them home. Proven in Battle!”
“Please remember them, as well as all our soldiers deployed around the world, during the holiday season,” the 89th Military Police Brigade said on their Facebook page.