We’re here in Atlanta for Red State’s annual conference.

Governor Perry shared a heartwarming story or as Perry called it, “a sad story but a good story.”

Perry recalled the time a grandmother of a fallen marine reached out to him. She was hoping Governor Perry would be able to assist in having her grandson’s service black lab, Eli, returned to the family. Eli’s, “the only connection the family has,” remembered Perry.

“He had this black lab that he idolized named Eli. Right before he deployed he told his mom that when he finished up this tour, he was going to return to Orange Grove and raise puppies with Eli. He got killed by small arms fire.”

The Marine Corps denied Governor Perry’s initial request to return Eli to the marine’s family. Not satisfied, Perry “went up the chain,” finally contacting the Commandant directly. Two weeks later the Commandant called Governor Perry and said, “Eli is on military transport… with the instructions — don’t put anything on him except loving hands.”

http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/military/article/Fallen-Marine-s-dognow-is-with-his-family-995077.php#photo-559238

[Marine Colton Rusk and Dog Eli][image source]

Eli was returned to the marine’s family. Where, “a year ago last May, he sired his first set of puppies.” Though he wasn’t there to see it, the marine’s dream lived on.

Follow Kemberlee Kaye on Twitter @kemberleekaye