Nightly News | September 05, 2013
>>> finally tonight, a group of u.s. service members, members of the army national guard who served in afghanistan , have completed one more mission tonight, a mission that came after their deployment was over. it's about some friends they picked up along the way and the effort to give them a new home. we get their story from nbc's anne thompson .
>> reporter: safe at home, you might wonder why these soldiers are so anxious for souvenirs from afghanistan . until you realize the souvenirs have four legs and happy tails. these dogs of war unleashed joy and kisses at new york's kennedy airport . reunited with the army national guard unit that cared for the seven puppies after their birth in afghanistan this past march.
>> hey, bud!
>> reporter: the pup's mother will sheba adopted the unit, the men say, going on patrols with them, barking at others who approached. but the birth of the litter left her exhausted so the men stepped in to help.
>> i fell in love with cadence over there.
>> reporter: this is the pose that stole staff sergeant edwin kaub ba's heart. how different will her life be here?
>> life here, i mean, from every little thing you can think, you know. it's all dirt, there's no concrete or anything like that. the dogs aren't treated well. her being here is such a blessing. she can have all the treats she wants.
>> reporter: cabo vowed not to leave the dogs behind. he enlisted guardians of ves cue and save-a-pet to bring sheba and her seven pups to the states. the two groups raised $15,000 and added three grand of their own.
>> we're in a deficit big-time now, but it was worth it to get these animals here.
>> reporter: will sergeant travis burton is taking buckeye to his home in cincinnati. why would you drive 11 hour to pick up a dog? saver jant alex had to convince his wife to add jack and sara to their home.
>> i was debating it myself. we already have a dog. i'm going to school and she's working full time . but i told her, you know, i can't leave him behind.
>> reporter: the picture is now complete. buddy left behind , two legs or four. anne thompson , nbc news, port jefferson station , new york.