(1010 WINS) – It was an emotional day at the David-Monthan Base in Tucson, Arizona when U.S. Air Force sergeant Amanda Cubbage was reunited with her service dog. The pair served together in South Korea but were then separated for over a year.

Rick, a 7-year-old German shepherd, patrolled for bombs and performed security sweeps for six years in the U.S. Air Force. Beyond his normal duties however, Rick was a steadfast companion to Cubbage.

image002 Emotional Reunion For Air Force Sergeant And Vet Dog

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“Rick is my partner, friend, brother, and son,” said Cubbage. “He was there for my happiest days in Korea and the saddest days that I ever had there.”

While serving, Rick did more than 30 explosives sweeps for distinguished visitors and military officials, but due to old age, Rick is finally retiring from the USAF.

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“These heroes have served their country with valor, and saved the lives of our servicemen and women while risking their own,” said Dr. Robin Ganzert, president and CEO of American Humane. “It is essential that now we step up and do the right thing for these warriors.”

image001 Emotional Reunion For Air Force Sergeant And Vet Dog

American Humane, Hallmark Channel and Hormel Foods got together to send a veterinarian to South Korea to escort Rick back to the States and back to Cubbage.

“It broke my heart to leave him,” she said. “Thank you for bringing my boy back.”

–Kayla Jardine