WACO (June 10, 2012)- A soldier and his dog are both back home and back where they belong.
June marked the end of a long journey for Chief Warrant Officer Second Class Anthony Bailey, who just finished up his third tour in Afghanistan, and his six-month old German Shepherd Chief, who has been in the care of a foster while Bailey was deployed.
"most people take for granted stuff like having a pet," said Bailey. "i'm glad to be home."
The reunion between Bailey and his dog wasn't a sure thing back in February. The people watching Chief until Bailey returned home unexpectedly had to move, leaving the dog with an uncertain future.
That's when Bailey's father, Travis Bailey put out the call for fosters and ended up getting more than he bargained for.
"I thought I'd get 5, maybe 10 calls," said Bailey. "I don't know how many I got, more than 300."
News 10 viewers answered the call for help and Baylor graduate student Christina Boyles ended up becoming a temporary mother to Chief.
"A lot of us in the United States who are civilians feel like there's not a lot we can do except say thank you," said Boyles. "it was nice to be able to do something that was very tangible and say, oh I really appreciate what you're doing overseas please let me give this back to you."
Four months later, Chief is more than 40 pounds larger and has a lot more people to love.
Bailey is back home and spending lots of time with his dog.
He says he still can't believe how generous Central Texans are.
"it's awesome just being able to see the outpouring that the community had," said Bailey. "it kind of restored my faith in humanity a little bit to see how many good people there are out there."
Bailey and Chief plan on sticking around Central Texas for the next few months. Chief will accompany Bailey when he leaves again for South Korea.