Local soldiers on mission to bring dog home from Afghanistan

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PHOENIX - His name is Blanco, and when U.S. soldiers found him he was wandering near their base in Farah, Afghanistan, and his ears had been cut off.

The soldiers, part of a volunteer Provincial Reconstruction Team from Arizona, took the puppy in and helped nurse him back to health. He soon became part of their team.

The soldiers are set to return to the Valley in late July and want to bring Blanco with them, but they have to do so at their own cost.

According to a Facebook page set up by the soldiers, costs are high because of vaccinations and multiple flights so they started "Operation Bring Blanco Home" in hopes of getting some help.

Virginia Keller, the wife of one of the soldiers who have taken Blanco, is helping coordinate efforts from here in Phoenix.

"All of the guys that are with him have become really attached to him and don't want to leave him behind, I think he's kind of one of them now," said Keller.

The group is trying to raise $3000 to pay for shipping costs and vaccinations.

"It makes me feel good to know that we could possibly do this and bring him home for our guys who are gone serving for us," said Keller.

They've set up a pay pal account on Facebook: http://apps.facebook.com/fundrazr/activity/a6575304ee40471eb6d2a80cfed27ed2

You can also donate at the Alta Vista Veterinary Hospital in Phoenix. (602) 277-1464.