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Strangers help Redmond soldier’s dog get home


There was another homecoming of sorts at Roberts Field Friday afternoon, but this one is an even more special story for the owner of a pup named Broozer.

Schonie Brewer’s son, Josh, is a paratrooper in the Army. He spent nine months fighting in Afghanistan in 2011.

“They ran over a 20-pound bomb, and the tail end of the truck went into a nose dive and truck bounced back up, and the guys inside got all jarred up and thrown around inside the truck,” Brewer explained.

Josh injured his back and had to have surgery on his elbow. He was sent back to base at Fort Richardson in Anchorage, Alaska.

Enter Broozer.

“He got Broozer from the pound, and he’s had him ever since with him — he’s like an extra companion,” Brewer said.

A soldier and his pup — that is, until the Army asked Josh to come back on base to manage disability issues.

Broozer wasn’t allowed on base.

“He would have had to give Broozer up, that means probably back to the Humane Society, which I didn’t want to see happen because I see what an animal can do for a soldier when they’re wounded,” Brewer said.

And with a $1,300 price tag, shipping Broozer home was out of the question.

“I posted it on Facebook to see if anybody in Anchorage would be able to help or a different way to get him home, so I could take care of him so Josh wouldn’t lose him,” Brewer said.

A complete stranger in Alaska responded to the post. The man made it his mission to get Broozer home.

“He told the airline the story, and Alaska Airlines said they were going to do it for free. And we had to come up with a kennel, so this gentleman, Robert Lee, called the local pet store to see what they could do,” Brewer said, who began to fight back tears as she told what happened next.

“He told them the story about trying to get this dog home, and they stopped him midway — he said he didn’t even get to the punchline. The pet store said, ‘We are going to donate the kennel, pet food — whatever Broozer needs for this trip.'”

And so, after a 12-hour flight from Alaska, Broozer is at his new home.

Now all that’s left is for Josh to come home, too.

“It’s like a piece of my son with me, to take care of him,” Brewer said.

Lee, the stranger who helped with all this, will be driving through Redmond Saturday. Brewer says she’s so excited to meet him and thank him.

As for Josh, he should be home sometime next month.

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