While things were nuts at LaGuardia yesterday, the scene at JFK was all about the "awwws" when a number of U.S. troops were reunited with the dogs (and a cat) they'd grown attached to while deployed in Afghanistan. "I’ve been home for 2 months and I’ve been waiting for him ever since," Petty Officer Zachary Henning told CBS regarding his furry pal Gus. "He helped me survive out there and now I’m going to give him a home and allow him to survive now." See what we mean about the "awwwws?"

The reunion was facilitated by a nonprofit called Nowzad, founded in 2007 by former Royal Marine Paul "Pen" Farthing after he broke up "a dogfighting competition in Afghanistan, and cared for one of the badly injured canine combatants. Since then, his organization has reunited about 250 dogs with soldiers from the United States and other NATO nations." In this case Nowzad teamed up with American "We Lost Jack The Cat" Airlines to bring 14 dogs and one cat to the States for a reunion that you can't hear about and not get a little teary (FYI? Such a flight would normally cost about $4,000).

As Farthing put it on the Nowzad website: "Getting these dogs reunited with the soldiers is why I started this. I know what my dog ‘Nowzad’ meant to me—I could not leave him behind—he was my comfort during those dark cold nights in Afghanistan where normality did not exist. It is a testament to the character of the US soldiers concerned that they have shown compassion in such a brutal place as to rescue an innocent animal from the chaos. We can do no more than help them in return"

Specialist Sheila Schaffe, one of the soldiers reunited with her friend yesterday, put it another way: "It’s not always saving from an IED or a bomb. A lot of time with soldiers, we have a lot who commit suicide from depression, it’s saving our spirits too. It doesn’t have to be a physical save, it’s a spiritual save." She found her dog's mother, Delta, early in her deployment. Delta then "led her to a litter of seven pups secreted beneath a medic station at the Army installation where Schaffer was stationed. She chose Charlie as her own, and gave Delta and her remaining offspring to other Iowa National Guard soldiers."

If you want to help stray and abandoned animals in Afghanistan (not just by taking them away) you can donate right here.