Bomb detection dog reunited with Marine

Both served on deployment in Afghanistan

SAN DIEGO - For more than a year, Marine Sgt. Sam Wettstein bonded with Belle, a 3-year-old Labrador trained to detect explosives in Afghanistan.

However, both were separated when their deployment was over.

"A piece of him was missing when he got home," said Wettstein's wife, Jessica.

The deployment ended in April, and Belle was sent to North Carolina for more training. Then the Wettsteins got a phone call and learned Belle was being retired.

"I was in a room full of Marines, and I can tell you I couldn't remember anyone's face, I can remember was that I could adopt Belle," he said.

There were jumps of joy, lots of licks and tail wagging when Belle saw Wettstein at the airport.

Travel and the adoption was made possible thanks to Mission K-9 Rescue and the American Humane Association.

Though Wettstein is still on active duty, Belle will live out her days at the family home in Orange County.

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