It’s a heartwarming moment for this Tampa soldier to reunite with a stray pup she rescued in Iraq. U.S. Army Reserve Sgt Trcay McKithern is meeting her pet dog named Erby Kasima at the airport and their long awaited reunion has a touching story to share!
Trcay McKithern was deployed in Kurdistan Training Coordination Center when she met this stray pup along with her mom. She was stationed at the multinational military organization in and around Erbil from April 2017 to January 2018. She met her sweet little pup and her mom near their military camp and immediately fell in love with the little white stray. The pup and her mom had been wandering around the base for weeks, and despite her rough life experiences from humans, this stray had an uncommon attachment to McKithern.
“She loved everyone,” said McKithern. “She is the sweetest little soul. She came up to me immediately, probably hungry, but gentle. I think she was looking for love more than anything else.”
The little pup was so much in love with McKitern that every time she returned after her mission to the base, she will be there waiting for her human friend.”She was so tiny she would fall and trip all over herself to get to us.” McKithern recalled
Eventually the entire Army unit, including Italian and German Armies all started caring for the pup. They named her Erby Kasima. Her name was taken from ‘Erbil’- the largest city in northern Iraq – and ‘Kasima”- an Arabic name for beauty and elegance!
Later on when she has to return to U.S. she was concerned about her dog thinking how to bring her along! That’s when she posted a picture of her along with Erby in the Facebook with a caption that read “I wish I could take her home”. It was read by many people and she was fortunate enough to get their supports to bring Erby to her hometown!
“I went to sleep, woke up and my friends and family had posted links to various rescue groups. I reached out to one of them, the non-profit Puppy Rescue Mission, and they responded immediately. We sent them $1,000 and they set up a crowd fund to get the rest. We needed an additional $3,500.”
While she was still fulfilling her duties as a soldier in the war zone, she could manage to do the necessary preparations for Erby’s trip as well. And some kind strangers has helped them with the remaining money, $3500.After finishing all the travel formalities for Erby, she has returned to U.S. first so that Erby could eventually follow her owner!
Unfortunately after her return to Florida, several weeks later, the very day Erby was scheduled to arrive in America, Mckithern received another deployment order. She received orders for a 67 – day mission to Fort McCoy, Wisconsin!
“ I couldn’t believe it, but I’m a soldier first..it killed me that it was going to keep me away from Erby for another two months. But its an important mission. It will all be worth it in the end” Mckithern consoled herself!
On her absence her husband received Erby at the JFK airport and drove her home to Tampa. Finally on Wednesday when Sgt Mckithern returned home after seven months of deployment , she was happy and excited to reunite with Erby at the airport!!
I am sure all dog lovers will enjoy watching them together!