U.S. warriors hold tightly to some very distinct ideals. One of the most revered is that no one gets left behind. So it should come as no surprise that they didn't want to leave their new best friend, Burt, in Iraq when her tour with the 1st Marine Expeditionary Unit ended.
Sure, Burt was loud and opinionated, but he was special. For the only female Marine in the unit, he was a non-judgmental shoulder to cry on and provide much needed support throughout her deployment. “Sometimes, even though you’re one of the guys, it’s hard for them to relate to you when something happens and you need comfort,” Kirk-Cuomo, a combat photographer, said. I returned after a really bad day and was feeling like I wasn’t going to make it to the end of the deployment, and then I heard that voice. Burt was outside the tent screaming hello at me and telling me to get my butt outside and say hello back. I hadn’t seen him in weeks and I just about broke down seeing those gold eyes in the fading light that night,” she added. “I think I sat out in the dirt with him for hours and he never left me.”