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Former military trainer, retired dog reunited in San Antonio

In an April 5, 2019 photo, former Marine Aaron Stice is reunited with Kkeaton, his canine partner when he was a police officer patrolling Camp Pendleton, Calif., in San Antonio, Texas. The dog, trained to sniff explosives and to bite on command, was recently medically retired. They were apart for seven months. (Billy Calzada/The San Antonio Express-News via AP)

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — A former military dog trainer and his now-retired canine partner have been reunited in an emotional encounter in Texas.

Aaron Stice (stys) was a corporal in the Marines when he last saw the Belgian Malinois (mal-ihn-WAH’) named Kkeaton (KEE’-tuhn) in October at Camp Pendleton in California.

Stice is now a civilian trainer at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland and wanted to adopt the explosive-detecting dog that he’d worked with for several years. The nonprofit group American Humane made Tuesday’s reunion possible in San Antonio.

Kkeaton’s name has special meaning. Stice served in Afghanistan with Cpl. Keaton Coffey of Oregon, who was killed on May 24, 2012. The dog was born days later in a breeding program at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland and named for the late Marine.

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