Oct 21, 2012 1:20 AM by Jacqui Heinrich,

Retired military pit bull home after long drive

It's always wonderful to see military families reunited following long deployments, but a different kind of homecoming happened in Colorado Springs on Saturday.

Retired military dog Jasper is safe at home in Springs, but his journey from Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio was a long one.

According to Jasper's handler, most airlines refused to ship the dog because of his breed-- pit bull-- while others charged "exorbitant" prices for solid metal bolt-lock cages, which was unaffordable for the family.

Military Working Dog Adoptions, a volunteer organization, worked to shuttle Jasper across state lines from Texas to Colorado Springs-- a 16 hour drive divided by 4 people. "There are no fees. We do this out of passion and respect for these animals because they are our four-legged heroes that work with out two-legged heroes," said Ruby Ridpath, the volunteer who transported Jasper on the last leg of his journey.

Jasper's owner, SSGT Jordan Lee, is a Fort Carson solider currently in the 4th ID currently fighting in Afghanistan; he was recently wounded in an IED blast. He sent a message to KOAA through his wife, Jessica Lee: he's just as anxious to get home and be reunited with his best friend as he is to be back with his wife and two children. SSGT Jordan Lee is due back in December.



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