When troops return from overseas, it’s always a joyous occasion.But for one soldier, the homecoming was especially happy because of the generosity of folks across the country.’My name is Sandy. I am the dog that you helped rescue from the pits of Afghanistan.’ That’s how Sergeant Eric Pierce started his thank you letter to everyone that helped him bring his dog home. Pierce met Sandy when he was stationed overseas.”We were out on a mission one day and we found a couple of stray dogs. We decided to bring them back to the post with us.” Says Pierce.Over the next six months, the soldiers grew close to the dogs. “When we’d get back from missions, we’d all be fighting all day long. Come back and, don’t really want to sit there and talk to the guy that you been fighting with all day. We had the dogs to help comfort us.” Pierce explains.But the soldiers were told they wouldn’t be able to take the dogs back to the U-S. “So we dropped them off down the road, about 20 kilometers down the road, and my company commander said if one of the dogs made it back to the base, that he would pay to have him shipped back.” Says Pierce.One dog made it back, and the commander made good on his word. Sandy made it back a few days later, so Pierce decided to rescue her, but he didn’t have the 29-hundred dollars to do it. Maddie Pierce, Eric’s mother, says “I tried raising the money on my own and I had raised 650 dollars from friends and family, who were very eager to help, but it wasn’t enough.”So she decided to put an article in the newspaper asking for donations.”The day it hit the newspaper, we had already reached our goal.” she explains.”We had an overwhelming outpouring of support from folks from all over the states.” Pierce says.They ended up raising 24-thousand dollars. Pierce and his mother are very grateful and would like to send a message to all of those supporters.”We’d just like to say thank you to everybody that helped out with the donations to support the troops and support animal rescue.”The rest of the money is being donated to animal shelters, including the Lucky Pup Rescue in Kennebunk, the Skowhegan Animal Shelter, and the Tigger House in Kabul, Afghanistan.