Veteran adopts the dog that served alongside him in Afghanistan

Veteran Joe Steenbeke was reunited with Tess on Saturday after the two served together in Afghanistan years ago.  (Becky Malewitz/South Bend Tribune via AP)

A U.S. Army veteran who made a furry friend while serving in Afghanistan finally adopted the bomb-sniffing dog — in a painstaking process that took years.

Joe Steenbeke spent nearly a year in Afghanistan as a handler with the Tactical Explosive Detective Dog program, where he worked with Tess, a now-11-year-old Belgian Malinois, the South Bend Tribune reported.

MILITARY DOGS TO BE HONORED ON POSTAL SERVICE STAMPS LATER THIS YEAR Tess rarely left Steenbeke’s side, but in February 2013, when his tour ended, the two had only minutes to say goodbye to each other. The veteran said he spent years trying to adopt his canine pal, who went on to serve in the Connecticut National Guard — until last week. After years of paperwork and assistance from various groups, including U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski’s office, Steenbeke was finally able to reunite with Tess on Saturday.
When Steenbeke’s tour ended in 2013, he said he and Tess had only a few minutes to say goodbye to each other. (Becky Malewitz/South Bend Tribune via AP)
“It’s been six years since I’ve had her and honestly, looking at her right now, it feels like it’s been a lifetime, but it also feels like it was just yesterday that I said goodbye to her,” he told the news outlet. “I know that she’s going to be in a great home that loves her from now until forever. I’m just happy to have her back.” Read more: https://www.foxnews.com/us/indiana-veteran-adopts-dog-that-served-alongside-him-afghanistan
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