Air Force veteran AJ Kirrish once again finds himself in a battle. This time he's fighting to bring his beloved dog, Harley, home following his combat tour in the Middle East.
As Kirrish planned his return to the U.S., he arranged to have Harley flown back too. The Long Island veterans organization Paws of War helped him set up his dog's travel plans to JFK International Airport. But then comes the bad news.
"We were surprising AJ with the flight. We wanted to surprise him…unfortunately when we told him that she was safe, the flight landed, we also had to tell him that she was denied," said the organization co-founder Robert Misseri.
Misseri says he was told that there was a problem with Harley's rabies vaccine, but there was also a clerical error, meaning that the dog would be sent back to Jordan.
The news devastated Kirrish who says he would mean "everything" to have his dog back home with him.
"It's really difficult to understand but being in that environment, there's a bond built. I just want her home safe," Kerrish said. "Please, please find some sort of mercy in allowing me to get my dog back home. She means the world to me."
There's currently an order to get Harley on a ground transport as early as Thursday to make a flight out of Chicago to Amman, Jordan's capital, and "someone needs to step up and stop this," said Misseri.
"We call him an American soldier and someone has to look deeper into this because this is not how we treat our American soldiers," he added.
State congressional lawmakers have signed a letter addressed to the director of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, asking to allow Harley to stay in the country.
NBC New York has reached out to the CDC for comment but has not heard back. In the meantime, a federal spokesperson said Wednesday that they're "aware of this situation and we're working with officials to come to a resolution.