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02/28/13 — A warrior's heart

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A warrior's heart

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on February 28, 2013 1:46 PM

News-Argus/BOBBY WILLIAMS

An unidentified man was in critical condition after this accident early today at the intersection of N.C. 55 and Indian Springs Road just east of Mount Olive. Five children en route to Carver Elementary School and the driver of the car also were taken to Wayne Memorial Hospital.

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News-Argus/MICHAEL BETTS

Ralph, a 12-year Air Force veteran, has a much different life -- and home -- since he retired from the service last October. But his best friend, John Makripodis, remains.

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News-Argus/MICHAEL BETTS

John Makripodis tries to take a rubber ball away from his dog, Ralph. The former Air Force military working dog, a Belgian Malinois, found his forever home with his former handler's family after his Oct. 26 retirement.

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News-Argus/MICHAEL BETTS

Ralph gets some love from his mom, Stevi Makripodis.

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Submitted photo

Carlos trains before a deployment several years ago.

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News-Argus/MICHAEL BETTS

A tribute to Carlos located in the Makripodis home

His dark eyes fixated on the large, rubber ball secured tightly between his two front paws, Ralph doesn't flinch when his owner says his name. His ears don't perk up when John Makripodis repeats himself -- when the young man...

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