Bomb-Sniffing Dog Reunites With Iraq War Veteran After Almost 2 Years of Separation

Bomb-Sniffing Dog Reunites With Iraq War Veteran After Almost 2 Years of Separation
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Epoch Inspired Staff
From the archives: This story was last updated in August 2019.
Sergeant Jason Bos and his military service dog, Cila, spent five years side by side in multiple overseas deployments, including Iraq. They were together during almost 100 missions in Iraq, which included working with the secret service and detecting roadside bombs as well as hidden weapons caches.

During time off duty, Sgt. Bos would play with Cila at the kennel in Lackland Air Force Base. While not overseas, Sgt. Bos would check the site of a presidential visit with Cila.

“No one could work with this dog, and yet, she listened to me," Bos told "I don't know why she listened to me. Maybe it's my inflection, maybe it's my personality."

But when the sergeant retired in 2012 due to a back injury, he headed back to the states … without Cila, a beautiful chocolate labrador. The dog stayed behind in the military.

Having to bid goodbye to Cila, Bos was heartbroken. He wasn’t sure if he’d ever be reunited with Cila ever again.

Back to his home near Grand Rapids in Michigan, Bos moved on with his life and took up business class in college.

Nearly two years passed, and not a day went by that Sgt. Bos didn’t think about his Cila. However, fate intervened when Bos learned that Cila was about to retire from her service on Facebook.

When the kennel master at his former base contracted Bos to ask if he wanted to adopt the retired bomb-sniffing military dog, Bos was over the moon and happily said yes.

"Her and I deployed together, the two of us, so we moved from one base to another, and we worked with people every day we didn't really know," Bos told ABC News. "I wanted her back and I did whatever I could to do that."

With the help of the American Humane Association and Mission K9 Rescue, Cila was flown all the way from Germany to Chicago. After a nine-hour flight, Cila finally reunited with Sgt. Bos at Chicago O’Hare International Airport.

Bos was nervous. “I hope she remembers my voice,” he told Chicago Tribune a day earlier at his home.

Did Cila recognize him? Yes, she did! Cila connected with Bos instantly.

“Cici! Hi baby,” Bos yelled.

The second Cila hears Bos’s voice, she knows it’s him. “She looked at me, she started smelling me, she knew me,” Bos said.

Cila excitedly leapt into her old buddy’s arms. The dog rolled on her back as Bos gave her a belly rub.

“It means everything to me,” Bos said.

Speaking to, the Iraq war veteran said: "A lot of these dogs aren't able to go back to their handler, and I'm one of the lucky ones.”

“So, what’s the future hold for you two old soldiers?” the cameraman asks Sgt. Bos.

While he responds by saying he’d like to work with veterans and help them deal with the struggles post-deployment, he’s happy to say that Cila will be put to work … as a couch potato.

“Her whole life has been about working. Now it's time for her to worry about just relaxing,” Bos said.

Together again, the two retired soldiers are now living their lives of retirement at Bos’s home in Michigan.

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