During a Knicks game at Madison Square Garden, retired United States Army First Class Sergeant Luciano Yulfo was brought to the centre of the court.
But he wasn’t just being honoured for his services, in fact, the team’s Hoops for Troops program had a big surprise in store for him.
Sgt. Luciano Yulfo spent 36 years in the military. He served in both Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. In July 2014, Sgt. Yulfo was injured while deployed in Afghanistan and medically retired from active duty.
Following his injury, Sgt. Yulfo was stationed at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for 2 years. After 36 years of work in the military, he retired in April 2016.
When Yulfo returned to America, he applied for a service dog to aid him with the injuries he suffered in Afghanistan. He’d been on a waiting list for over 18 months. But that was all about to change.
On the 9th of November, the Knicks had a big surprise for Sgt. Yulfo. The event was a Military Appreciation Night and the game was dedicated to members of the military.
Sgt. Yulfo was in for a big surprise
Between quarters, the organisers brought Sgt. Yulfo to the centre court and he was presented with a personalised Knicks jersey. But that was just the beginning – the announcers surprised him with his new service dog called Murphy.
Murphy was donated by Paws of War, an organisation that trains and places rescued dogs with U.S. Military Veterans. Each dog is trained to the specifications of each veteran that they’ll be serving.
These service dogs are often used for emotional support and to comfort veterans with PTSD. Others are trained to fetch items for those who cannot walk. All the training and veterinary costs are taken care of by the Paws of War team.
Sergeant Luciano Yulfo looked overwhelmed by this surprise. Immediately he dropped to his knees to hug the dog that will become his new best friend. He’s finally got the help he needs from such a loving creature. Murphy will surely make the perfect addition to his life.
Don’t forget to watch the touching moment Sgt. Yulfo meets Murphy the service dog in the video below. Also, at Happiest we love hearing all of your opinions. So please let us know what you thought of the article in the comment section below. 🐝