LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A U.S. veteran was preparing for an emotional reunion with his military dog from Afghanistan Tuesday night.

Army veteran Seth Rodenberger spent 24 hours a day, seven days a week during two deployments with Gordo, a specialized search dog who just retired from the Army.

“Being with him every day for the last year, and then leaving, it’s gonna be good to see him,” Rodenberger said, waiting for his four-legged friend at the airport.

The pair earned a bronze medal for their service together. Rodenberger says Gordo likely saved lives.

“[He] plays a big part searching for explosives,” he said. “There’s nothing like having a dog on the battlefield. It just eliminates that threat one step more.”

The two had to part ways for months because Gordo retired after Rodenberger came home to California.

Now, United flight attendant Molli Oliver is making it her mission to reunite service dogs with their handlers.

CBS2/KCAL9 obtained a photo of Oliver with Gordo in St. Louis, Missouri, about to board a plane to Los Angeles.

“She’s taking time out of her busy schedule to do this for me. It’s awesome,” Rodenberger said. “I’m excited it’s gonna be cool to be reunited and finally get him home.”

The first dog Rodenberger served with was killed in action. That’s why, he says, it means to much to bring Gordo home.

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