Marine Sgt. Ross Gundlach and his war partner Casey were separated for 333 days.
Casey is a Labrador retriever who serves as a bomb detection dog. The two of them served more than 150 combat missions together, scouring the roads for bombs in in war torn Afghanistan.
“About midway through (the tour), I told her if we made it out alive I’d do whatever it took to find her,” said Gundlach, 25.
Gundlach always remembered his vow to Casey and began lobbying to adopt the dog. Gundlach traveled to Iowa, believing he would have to plead his case before a government committee to get Casey back. Little did he know, a reunion between the two loyal soldiers was already being secretly planned. The reunion was made possible by the Iowa Elks Association, which donated $8,500 to replace Casey with another dog at the State Fire Marshal’s office. To keep the plan a secret until the last moment, Gundlach was told he would sit in on a military ceremony in honor of Armed Forces Day.
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