Yeager, an improvised explosive device detection dog, waits for the beginning of a memorial service in honor of Lance Cpl. Abraham Tarwoe, a dog handler and mortarman who served with Weapons Company, 2nd Bn., 9th Marines, on April 22, 2012. (U.S. Marine Corps/ Cpl. Alfred V. Lopez)

In 2012, Lance Cpl. Abraham Tarwoe and his dog, Sgt. Yeager, were patrolling the Marjah district of Iraq.

A Marine had been injured by an IED, an improvised explosive device, so the pair were looking for other bombs in the area.

Suddenly, Tarwoe stepped on a buried IED, and it exploded, killing him.

Yeager suffered shrapnel wounds that took months to recover from and cost him part of his right ear.

Ninety-two military working dogs died in Iraq and Afghanistan from 2001-13, according to a study in Military Medicine. Roughly one in four died from explosions, the second leading cause of death after gunshot wounds.

Yeager was awarded a Purple Heart for his injuries after serving three combat tours and over 100 detection patrols.

Now, the 12-year-old Labrador retriever is going to Hollywood, where he will be honored as the nation's top military dog and will compete for the title of American Hero Dog.

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