Soldier KIA, But Adopted Puppy Comes to America

He took in stray in Iraqi war zone
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 8, 2009 4:15 PM CDT
Maj. Steven Hutchison, center, is seen in Afghanistan with colleagues.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – An Army major killed by a roadside bomb in Iraq has left a canine legacy—Laia, a stray puppy who made it back to America, the Los Angeles Times reports. Working on a transition team, Steven Hutchison found the dog loafing around his vehicle after a meeting. “Maj. Hutchison was hooked,” Sgt. Andrew Hunt says. "She slept in his bed with him at night and napped under his bed during the day.”

Adopting Laia in a war zone wasn't Hutchison's only quirky act. A Vietnam vet, he signed up to fight in Afghanistan and Iraq despite his liberal politics; he had a PhD in psychology; he jogged around the Iraq base in purple "short shorts" despite official warnings; and he was 60 years old. Hunt, Hutchison's comrade, plans to visit Laia at her new home in Michigan. "Like Maj. Hutchison, you cannot tell Laia what to do."