MD - 2015
On September 11, 2001, our country and its citizens were viciously attacked by terrorists. As you know, our military conducted bombing raids and placed boots on the ground in Afghanistan to flush out the Taliban and Al Qaeda. After the initial military action was completed, various organizations sent people in to begin to rebuild areas in Afghanistan that were badly damaged or destroyed by decades of invasions and war. My husband, Fred, was deeply impacted by the events of 9/11 and wanted to be a part of the solution.
In 2003, he left a very good job in the heavy highway construction field and became part of a team of Engineers who traveled to Afghanistan to be a part of the rebuilding and capacity building effort. That is where he found Bandit. Bandit was a pup when he got him and he soon became Fred's constant companion and best buddy. He helped Fred get over the trauma of being ambushed by insurgents during which time he suffered a grazing head wound from an AK47. Even after that experience, Fred was determined to stay on and continue with the work that needed to be done. Bandit not only provided friendship and comfort to Fred but also to the many other expats who were over there.
I was able to join Fred in Kabul in 2004. Bandit became one of the loves in my life as well. Bandit went from room to room in the guesthouse we lived in to visit with all of our housemates. He brought comfort to everyone and became kind of a mascot to our group. We left Kabul in the Spring of 2010 and Bandit came home with us. He was a part of the family and we weren't leaving him behind. We often joked that Bandit had more frequent flyer miles that most people do. My wonderful husband of 38-1/2 years who survived being shot at came home and became ill about a year afterwards. He spent his 60th birthday in the hospital recovering from thoracic surgery where the doctor removed a third of his lung.
We never really knew what caused the lung to become damaged but I believe it was exposure to pollutants and chemicals in Afghanistan. He never really totally recovered after the surgery and succumbed to a pulmonary embolism in late March 2012. He had no life insurance at the time of his death. That went away when we chose to return to the US. Because of the illnesses he had and his age, life insurance was unaffordable. I lost the love of my life and our home to short sale in a manner of months.
I vowed that Bandit would stay with me no matter what. I still feel connected to Fred through him. When Bandit was diagnosed with Addison's Disease in 2014, I vowed that I would do whatever it took to get him his medication and keep him comfortable. I did just that until recently when the expense became temporarily unmanageable. I started searching the internet looking for an agency that might be able to help me with the cost of his medication. That's where I discovered the Brown Dog Foundation. You have truly been an answer to my prayers. I realize that the assistance is temporary but it is truly a life saver at this time.
I've attached two photos of Bandit. One of him as a pup and one with my late husband, Fred, while still in Kabul.
Thank you so much for your support.