Rick, a 7-year-old German Shepherd, served his country and the Air Force proud, trained to sniff out bombs. With his health now declining a bit after years of dutiful service, Rick has been given the gift of retirement on easy street, granted a forever home with his happy Air Force handler, Staff Sergeant Amanda Cubbage. The two were reunited recently in Tucson where Cubbage is based at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. After a year apart, it was hard to tell who was more excited when the two laid eyes on each other.

“Hi baby boy!” Cubbage said the moment she saw Rick, his tail wagging. Cubbage and Rick snuggled and played together, before Cubbage hugged one of the people who brought them together.

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“It’s getting part of your heart back,” she said.

Cubbage and Rick were separated when she completed her duty in South Korea and returned to the United States. Rick continued to serve overseas. They were in charge of detecting explosives and making sure on-base areas were secure. Rick was medically retired earlier this year because of dental surgeries that were affecting his performance, Cubbage told Air Force officials asked her if she wanted to adopt Rick. She didn’t have to think about it long.

“It is an indescribable feeling knowing that I finally get my dog back,” Cubbage said. “It’s one of those kind-of Cinderella moments.”

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