OK, so I wish I had seen this by veteran’s day, it would have been such a sweet post.

Take a look at this clip of Capt. Andrew Schmidt (AKA – Andy) being welcomed home from Kandahar in September of 2005 by his Golden Retriever dog Gracie. It will probably make you cry. I mean, not like, SOB – but tear up, you know?

It’s also an interesting commentary on how a video can sometimes go viral in a way that’s not totally organic, but rather involves the mainstream media.

I’m posting Capt. Schmidt’s commentary about the rising popularity of the video right below the actual video, because he didn’t feel like he got to say all that he wanted to on TV – so I want to make sure people that see the video here have the opportunity to know what he thinks!

I’m uploading this for family. This was the day I came back from Kandahar in Sept. 2005. Life has changed since then. But Gracie is still a good dog.

UPDATE: (11-13-2009) – This is crazy. I posted this years ago along with three other clips of wife in Haiti for my parents to see. They still have like 400 hits a piece.
This clip had like 30,000 hits two days ago. I’m not quite sure where this attention is all coming from.
Oh, and it was filmed by my wife Jen in our front yard in Springfield, VA.. Gracie is six now. She’s asleep at my feet as I’m typing this.
Take care, all – A.S.

UPDATE (11-14-2009). O-kaaaaay. This is getting crazy. They ran this on the Today Show today. I’m not a public person … this is getting a little intimidating.
I’m glad that this clip of Gracie has made so many people happy. If it makes you smile, it’s a good thing. But please remember the men and women in Iraq and Afghanistan right now. My buddy Steve Taylor who is in Iraq wrote me to say that it bummed him out, because it reminded him of how much he missed his dog …

FINAL UPDATE (11-15-2009) Again, thanks for everyone’s kind words. Yes, we did a short (2-min) spot in the Today Show this morning. They were nice, but I didn’t get to say what I wanted to say about my friends deployed or the many Guardsmen overseas right now. But it went well (do a Google for Capt. Andrew Schmidt to see it).
We were contacted by another news outlet, but we declined. We’re 17 minutes into our 15 minutes of fame. We’re private people, and these things can get out of hand. For one, I am a staff officer in the Air Guard (even though I am past enlisted) … there are tens of thousands of combat arms soldiers and Marines on their third+ 12 month deployment down range; I’m only gearing up for my second. I don’t want to be made a symbol for something that I don’t deserve to be. You have to be careful, because you have no control when you go on TV unless you are very, very savvy (I am not). Or you get crazy and end up building a UFO weather balloon in your back yard.

Take care. This was a fun week, but it’s over now. I have to go change a diaper, then walk Gracie.

Andy and family.