When Justin Lansford and his fiancée Carol Balmes got engaged, he knew his closest buddy, his assistance dog Gabe, would be his best man. Justin and Gabe met in 2012, when Justin was deployed in Afghanistan as a US soldier.
Unfortunately, Justin was injured by an IED (improvised explosive device) while serving, and he lost one of his legs as a result.
Because of this critical occurrence, the military decided to bring Justin back to the United States for treatment.
According to Justin, who spoke to ABC News,
“In early 2012, I was a paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne Division in eastern Afghanistan.”
Justin stated, ”
“We collided with an IED, which completely overturned my truck.” My femora were both severed, necessitating the amputation of my left leg.”
Justin needed a service dog to help him cope with his restrictions and post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of his injuries.
Justin met Gabe through the Warrior Canine Connection while recovering at Walter Reade National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.
Warrior Canine Connection is a non-profit that trains assistance canines for injured troops in a variety of scenarios.
When Justin and his 2-year-old service dog were acquainted, they immediately clicked and developed a strong bond.