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NEWS | May 1, 2024

Iowa Air Guard Support Dog, Chaplain Reunite Post-Deployment

By Senior Master Sgt. Vincent De Groot, 185th Air Refueling Wing, Iowa Air National Guard

SIOUX CITY, Iowa - For Adele (the dog, not the singer), after her person, Chaplain Lt. Col. Stephen Peters, deployed to Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar last fall, it was like he was gone for years in dog time.

The 6-year-old English Cream Golden Retriever and Peters reunited in Sioux City this week.

While Peters was away, he served as the deputy command chaplain for U.S. Air Force Central Command. Back home, Adele continued her duties as the morale support dog at the Iowa Air National Guard’s 185th Air Refueling Wing.

Normally, Peters works full time as the wing chaplain at the Iowa Air Guard unit where he and Adele tend to the needs of their Airmen.

During the six-month deployment, several unit members volunteered to watch Adele in the evenings and weekends. Dog detail was not restricted to rank, as Col. Sonya Morrison, 185th ARW Wing commander, also pitched in with the pooch during Peters’ absence.

During the day (when she was not napping), Adele diligently continued her duties, reporting to work and greeting anyone who paid attention to her.

This week, as a small group gathered at the reunion in the Iowa ANG unit’s headquarters building, Adele seemed confused and a little unsure.

After a few moments, however, she extended her paws and pressed her large frame fully into Peters’ embrace. It was as if the two had never been separated.

When asked if Adele qualified to receive separation pay in his absence, Peters said he wasn’t sure, but he might check at the military pay office.

One sure thing is that the pair should have plenty of time to get reacquainted, as both earned some well-deserved leave during the deployment. Peters said it is good to be home and he is looking forward to resuming his duties with Adele at his side.



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