There’s truly nothing like a reunion between a man and his dog, especially when there’s a sweet backstory to it.

Nick Pierzchalski, a Florida national guard, once spent a few months overseas in a Iraq. On top of performing his military duties, he also met someone over there who completely stole his heart: A dog.

The dog, a one-year-old shepherd mix, came up to him and his crew mates one day. While she was friendly with all of them, she and Nick definitely had a special bond. They instantly clicked and it was obvious that the two were soon the best of friends.

Nick and his buddies cared for the dog like she was their own. They fed her and even built her a kennel, and soon she was basically just another member of their team! She became a huge morale booster, especially for Nick.

After leaving Iraq, Nick couldn’t get the dog out of his head. He missed her tremendously, and found himself thinking about her constantly, always wondering how she was doing without him to care for her. He knew he had to do something.

“Everybody I talked to—my fellow members in the military—were like, ‘you need to bring that dog home,” Nick said.

You can probably guess what happened next. Low and behold, Nick decided to take a leap of faith and adopt the dog from Iraq.

Nick arranged to have her be flown in to the Tampa International Airport so that he could finally make the dog an official part of his family. The adoption was made possible by the SPCA International, whose goal is to advance the safety and well-being of animals across the globe.

The reunion was so special that it actually became a live broadcast on Fox 13 News Channel. People all over Tampa were so excited to see these two finally be together again.

“When you think about it, this guy’s a Medevac helicopter in Iraq so he’s saving lives every day from the front lines, and really that’s what he’s doing with this dog,” the newscaster said. “He’s adopting her and taking her away from the war zone.”

On the day of the adoption, it had actually been several months since the two had seen each other. But when the dog was wheeled out in her kennel at the airport, anyone around them could tell that she recognized Nick—even before she was let free.

Both Nick and the pup are teary eyed when they finally get to be in each other’s arms again—and we’re getting pretty choked up ourselves!

The two have many happy memories to build and look forward to! “I’m excited for her reactions of seeing nothing but desert to having a yard of grass and trees [and] being able to run after squirrels,” Nick said.

To see the heartwarming reunion between Nick and his new dog, check out the live broadcast below.

Man really is man’s best friend, after all! What do you think of this sweet reunion?