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Two Marine Corps K-9s earn highest honor for military working dogs

By: Diana Stancy Correll

Two Marine Corps K-9s earn highest honor for military working dogs
Meet Sgt. Yeager and Emmie, the two improvised explosive detection dogs who earned the K-9 Medal of Courage this month for their work supporting the Marine Corps in Iraq and Afghanistan.
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Emmie served three tours in Afghanistan primarily working off-leash along roadways. (American Humane)

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Yeager at the K-9 Medal of Courage awards on Capitol Hill. (Beth Caldwell for American Humane)

Yeager, a 13-year-old black lab, served three combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan where he participated in over 100 combat patrols and is credited with locating dozens of explosive devices. He previously was awarded the Purple Heart following an IED explosion in the Helmand province, Afghanistan in April 2012.

Yeager and his handler Marine Lance Cpl. Abraham Tarwoe were reportedly attempting to safeguard fellow Marines assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment during the explosion. But Tarwoe, who had an “unbreakable” relationship with Yeager according to American Humane, was killed in the explosion during a dismounted patrol.

Yeager survived, but encountered shrapnel wounds that took out a part of his ear. He subsequently was returned back to the U.S. for treatment and then retired from the Marine Corps.

Yeagar has since been adopted by a Marine Corps family in North Carolina, and is an ambassador for the Project K-9 Hero Foundation. He also is participating in American Humane’s Hero Dog Awards next month in Hollywood, California.


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