Fort Jackson's Hero Dog dies - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Fort Jackson's Hero Dog dies

FORT JACKSON, SC (WIS) -

Sgt. 1st Class Gabe will never have to worry about being in a war zone again. He's getting belly rubs and chasing endless tennis balls in doggie heaven.

Officials at Fort Jackson announced retired K-9 officer Gabe died Wednesday.  

In October, The American Humane Association announced Gabe won the Hero Dog contest.

Gabe served a successful 170 combat patrols and was stationed at Fort Jackson.

Gabe spent several years in Iraq where he helped to make 26 finds during his combat patrols. In those years, he was also a highly-decorated dog that received three Army Commendation medals, an Army Achievement medal, and almost 40 coins of excellence.

"Everyday we'd go out for 18 hour searches and he was a trooper," SSgt. Chuck Shuck, Gabe's handler, said. "We'd be stuffed into a humvee and the gunner would be stepping all over him, but he'd just find a place to sleep and when it was time to work he went out there and did his thing."

The American Kennel Club also recognized Gabe with the 2008 Heroic Military Working Dog Award medal. 

Gabe began life as a pound puppy in Houston, Texas, and was adopted and trained by the Army to sniff out weapons, munitions, and other items.

During his retirement, Gabe visited wounded veterans.

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