This is the moment Marine Sgt. Sam Wettstein was reunited with his service dog, Belle.
She served as his sidekick in Afghanistan for 7 months sniffing out improvised explosive devices (IEDs), but when their service ended so did their time together. Something Sam says he tried to avoid.
He told KGTV, "During the deployment, I tried to slap down some adoption papers to see if I was able to get her, but was told, unfortunately, I was not going to receive her."
Belle continued her training until Mission K9 Rescue stepped in. The organization helps bring military dogs back together with the soldiers they helped overseas, ensuring that their retirement into a happy home.
Lawmakers are trying to make it easier for veterans to reunite with their dogs. It's estimated that each war dog saves up to 200 U.S. military service members during the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Last year, Marine Lance Corporal Brad O'Keefe finally tracked down Earl, the bomb-sniffing dog that saved his life and 13 other soldiers while they were in Afghanistan in 2010. It took several years until he found Earl working with state police in Rhode Island but the long search came to a happy end when they let him adopt his former companion at no cost!
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