A wedding is a time to gather together the people you love and cherish most. In the case of U.S. Army veteran Justin Lansford, it was also a chance to honor his service dog, Gabe.
Lansford, who lost his leg in Afghanistan in an IED explosion, was paired with Gabe through the Warrior Canine Connection, according to Fox News. “He helps me with one thing to the next. I can use him as a stable surface to lean on, as I get to and from the ground,” Lansford told ABC.
It made sense, then, that Lansford wanted Gabe to serve as “best man” in his wedding. Gabe dressed in his best military attire for the occasion.
The wedding photographer, Brad Hall, told USA Today that photographing Gabe “was easy, quite frankly, a lot easier than we typically see with groomsmen at most weddings.”
The wedding wasn’t the first time that Gabe has played a special role in supporting Lansford. The pup also helped Lansford propose to his girlfriend (now wife) Carol Balmes on Veterans Day.
Balmes told E! News, “Gabe helps Justin mostly in physical ways. He can pick up items Justin drops, opens doors, gets drinks out of the fridge if Justin has his leg off and can’t get up. He also has a brace command where he can help Justin get up off the floor if he falls or help him as a hand rail if he’s going down stairs and there is no hand rail.”
Prior to the wedding, Gabe also helped out with the couple’s engagement photos.
To find out more, visit Warrior Canine Connection, an organization that trains service dogs to help veterans recover from the stress, trauma, and injuries of war.