TUCSON, Ariz. - An Arizona U.S. Air Force Staff Sergeant was reunited with her beloved military dog, after nearly a year apart.
Sgt. Amanda Cubbage first teamed up with German shepherd, Rick, in 2015 while stationed in South Korea.
“He was my support. He was there for everything I needed,” she said. “He was there when I was happy, he was there when I was sad. Everything I needed came from him.”
The duo performed over 30 explosive sweeps during their year as partners. But their time together ended 11 months ago.
“It's not so much leaving the partner behind, but it's all the experience, the job, everything you've gone through together,” she said. “You leave a part of that behind, too.”
Now, almost a year after they said their goodbyes, the partners are back together again -- this time for life. Rick, now retired from service, has been officially adopted by SSgt. Cubbage and her family in Southern Arizona.
“Just like my husband, who is retired, they're both going to sit there on ‘Chair Force One’ and watch TV all day,” she said.
D.C.-based non-profit American Humane covered the costs to bring Rick back on U.S. soil.
SSgt. Cubbage said he is so much more than a dog to her, and she’s happy to finally have him home.
“It’s like getting part of your heart back. I'm just in awe that this actually happened and I have my partner back,” she said.