Culver veteran reunited with his service dog partner after 6 years
After six years apart, local veteran Joseph Steenbeke has be reunited with Tess, the explosive detecting dog he was partnered with while serving in Afghanistan.
US Representative Jackie Walorski honored Steenbeke on Monday at a ceremony after he officially adopted Tess.
“This is a story that allowed all of us in our office to be involved with a solution that was very rational to understand. Well let’s just get the dog because Joe has PTSD and we want Joe to have quality of life," Rep. Walorski said.
Steenbeke's wife Stephanie contacted Rep. Walorski who promised the couple would be first in line to adopt her once she retired.
"It was a little piece of me that I really didn't think I'd get back, but it's something that my wife fought really hard for," Steenbeke said.
Tess, a Belgian Malinois, and Steenbeke were partners for more than a year in Afghanistan.
“It still doesn’t feel real. Woke up this morning and she’s there. She’s sleeping in our bed and I really just can’t believe she’s still here," Stephanie Steenbeke said.