Soldier granted special retirement with fellow soldier
By Jay Dillon
A special soldier who sniffed out challenges for the fellow men in his platoon has been granted a very special retirement. He has no medals to his name, but that doesn't mean he's not a hero. It's been a long time since Andy Wolf saw his fellow war hero. Two years and two months, to be exact. "We did two tours in Afghanistan together and then he deployed again after I left," Staff Sgt. Wolf said.His trusted cohort in combat is on a plane from Houston for North Carolina and Wolf said he was anxious. Maybe he shouldn't have been. After all, the two soldiers were inseparable."We just lived together 24-7, we were doing that. And then we came on orders to deploy. And I think we left in July 2010. [In Afghanistan] stuff got pretty intense down there at the time."It was bad and his partner, Iras, was hurt. As Iras recovered, Wolf was right by his side. Even as he was flown to Germany and he lost his spleen, Wolf stayed right there."Throughout that whole time frame, I slept on his side, like right next to him. I slept on a litter."After he recovered, they returned to Afghanistan, dodging IED's."The amount of time and what we went through together, there's nothing that can explain what you feel."Eventually, the inseparable buddies were forced to go different ways. Wolf returned home to North Carolina to his wife, Samantha, and their boys, Tyler and Claim.Iras went back to work. Until Thursday.When he landed and deboarded, he made a beeline for his best friend. The German Shepherd and Wolf were back together again.Iras is a bomb-sniffing dog who smelled his way through more than 100 combat missions with Staff Sgt. Wolf and saved countless lives. One of those times was as they were about to cross a bridge. Iras sniffed, stopped, and sat. Wolf said there was an IED under the bridge they were parked on."We didn't lose one soldier or one piece of equipment through every mission. We didn't blow up. Everybody all came home."Now, Iras is home. Retired to the good life of belly rubs and squeaky balls. Now these two truly are inseparable.
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