A Marine was reunited Friday with the dog he served with in Afghanistan during a surprise ceremony in Des Moines.
Marine Sgt. Ross Gundlach of Madison, Wisconsin thought he was traveling to the Iowa Capitol to tell state officials why he should take ownership of the dog, which has been working for the state fire marshal's office. Gundlach didn't realize officials already had made arrangements to get another dog for explosives detection.
State officials told Gundlach their meeting had been delayed and asked him to join in an Armed Services Day celebration in the rotunda, but during the event they brought out 4-year-old yellow lab Casey. When Gundlach saw Casey, he put his face into his hands and cried.
"It's a little rough losing your dog after spending 24 hours a day with her. About midway through I promised her if we made it out alive I`d do whatever it took to find her. I owe her, I want to take care of her, but I owe her so I`ll try and give her the best life she can have from here on out.”
Gov. Terry Branstad officially retired Casey from active duty. The Iowa Elks Association donated $8,500 to replace Casey so the state could get a new bomb dog.