This year’s American Humane top military working dog sniffed out bombs and explosives over three combat tours with the Marine Corps across Iraq and Afghanistan and is now competing for the grand prize title of American Hero Dog.
Sgt. Yeager, a Marine Corps improvised explosive detection dog, carried out nearly 100 combat patrols and was awarded the Purple Heart after an IED explosion in Helmand province, Afghanistan, in April 2012, took out part of his ear, according to a press release.
His handler, Marine Lance Cpl. Abraham Tarwoe, was killed in that explosion during a dismounted patrol in Helmand province’s Marjah district.
The pair, whose bond was described as “unbreakable,” according to American Humane, were both assigned to 2nd Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment.
Yeager was transported back to U.S. and treated for his injuries and eventually retired from the Marine Corps, according to a press release.
A press release said that while 12-year-old Yeager is showing signs of aging, his spirit is “undiminished.”
Yeager was adopted by a family in North Carolina, according to the release.
Yeager is now headed to Hollywood, California, on Oct. 5 where he will be one of seven dogs to receive a 2019 American Humane Hero Dog award, the News Observer reported.
The American Humane Hero Dog Awards are a nationwide competition held every year to recognize dogs that do amazing things.
Yeager will also compete for the top award the 2019 American Hero Dog. According to American Humane, the gala will be broadcast on the Hallmark Channel on Oct. 23.
The News Observer first reported that Yeager was competing for the 2019 American Hero Dog award.
Shawn Snow is the senior reporter for Marine Corps Times and a Marine Corps veteran.