Reunited After Six Years! Army Veteran Adopts 11-Year-Old Dog He Worked With While In Afghanistan

Date February 6, 2019

We owe the freedom we enjoy these days to brave soldiers who have fought and won wars the of past. However, it is crucial not to forget the help these soldiers received from their often unrecognised companions: Their dogs.

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Reunited After Six Years! Army Veteran Adopts 11-Year-Old Dog He Worked With While In AfghanistanANURAKE SINGTO-ON /

Until the WWII, military dogs weren't recognized for their work on the battlefield. These canines can trace bombs, detect drug trafficking and attack the enemy.

They go through intensive training, and only 50% survive the strain. The peace of mind and companionship they offer to the troops is priceless, and they should be appreciated for it.

A sweet reunion

Veterans who return from war usually have a hard time settling back into their civilian lives.  They are sometimes unable to process the workings of the world away from the battlefield.

US Army veteran Joe Steenbeke  spent six long years home after his time in Afghanistan, but things didn't just seem right, in his words

”There's a little piece of me that I didn't really ever think that I'd get back."

But his wife, Stephanie Steenbeeke, knew what to do. Her husband, Joe, had since his return often talked about Tess; a Belgian Malinois who had been on the Afghanistan field with him.

Joe was a tactical explosive dog handler, and Tess’ job was to sniff out bombs. The two worked side by side for about a year.

His deployment ended in February 2013, and he had to leave Tess in Afghanistan.

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Tess was stationed to the Connecticut National Guard. The two friends separated, thinking they'd never met again.

However, Stephanie worked hard with the Mission K9 rescue team to get Tess home with Joe.

Thankfully, in February 2019, six years after their separation, Tess walked into her new home with Joe.

She is settling down beautifully and is happy to be back with her trusted friend in a safe environment.

Tips for adopting a war hero

We must understand that dogs who have fought in wars have had a violent past, thus not every home is suitable for them and not everyone can adapt to their needs.

If you want to adopt a war dog, here are some requirements to fulfill:

1. A call will be placed to your vet to confirm if any pets you've had have received proper medical care;

Reunited After Six Years! Army Veteran Adopts 11-Year-Old Dog He Worked With While In AfghanistanPEPPERSMINT /

2. Your work/life schedule must accommodate enough time for full responsibility of the dog;

3. You must be financially stable.

We wish Tess and Joe a beautiful life together. These canine heroes have risked their lives to ensure we are safe. It's only right they get the best of love they can get.

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