AMERICAN HUMANE ASSOCIATION HERO DOG AWARDS - 2019 FINALISTS
Yeager — Military
Location: Cary, North Carolina
Sergeant Yeager honorably performed combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan as an Improvised Explosive Detection Dog with the USMC. Yeager has been credited with detecting the locations of dozens of explosive devices. During his three combat tours, Yeager participated in over 100 patrols, and was tasked with clearing routes for his fellow Marines. On April 12, 2012, Yeager suffered shrapnel wounds from an IED that caused him to lose part of his ear. He was awarded the Purple Heart for his injuries. Unfortunately, the same explosion took the life of his handler, Lance Cpl. Abraham Tarwoe. The pair was virtuously trying to protect the other Marines in the 2nd Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan. Fellow Marines attest to the unbreakable bond between Tarwoe and Yeager. After the attack, Yeager was transported back to the U.S. and treated for his injuries until he was stable enough to retire from the USMC. Tarwoe’s widow was unable to adopt Yeager as she would now be raising their infant son alone. Yeager was adopted by another Marine Corps family. Today, Yeager at 12 years of age is beginning to show signs of aging, though his spirit is undiminished. Despite his trials and being witness to acts of terrorism, Yeager remains a sweet dog with an infinitely joyful disposition. He has settled in North Carolina with his family, where he is an ambassador for the Project K-9 Hero Foundation, which pays 100% of his medical bills from his sustained injuries.