The friendly black mutt credited with helping a soldier survive her tour of duty in Iraq stepped out of a crate, tail wagging, as he arrived in the US yesterday following an international battle over his refugee status. Ratchet was rescued from burning trash in Iraq by soldier Gwen Beberg. Military regulations prevented her from sending Ratchet home—until the SPCA intervened and some 70,000 people signed an online petition, reports the North Country Gazette.
"I'm very excited that Ratchet will be waiting for me when I get home. Words can't describe it," said Beberg in an email to friends and family. "I hope that Ratchet's story will inspire people to continue efforts to bring more service members' animals home." Ratchet, decked out in a red, white, and blue bandanna, flies tomorrow from Dulles to Beberg's Minneapolis home, where the grateful soldier returns next month.