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Emmie is the Pentagon's first K-9 combat vet


She's a combat veteran, who served two tours with the Marines in Afghanistan. And these days, she spends her time at the Pentagon - doing exactly what she did in the war zone - sniffing out bombs.

Barbara Starr introduces us to the Pentagon's first K-9 combat vet.

When Emmie comes to work at the Department of Defense, alongside Pentagon police officer Eric Harris, her nose is already on alert.

Checking, pausing, sniffing - Emmie is trained to detect explosives.

But this 6-year-old lab is also a combat veteran--the first on the Pentagon's K-9 force.

What do you know about Emmie before she came to work with you?

Before she came to work with us, Emmie did two tours with the Marines in Afghanistan. Emmie was an IED dog. That's what they call them over there. Her sole purpose was to find IEDs along the roadsides in Afghanistan.

Officer Harris--an Army vet-- says when Emmie arrived---she brought her warzone work habits with her.

She's non stop working, I will say that. She is pretty much like any other Marine or soldier. 24-7.

Emmie brought one habit she developed herself to cope with the blistering heat in Afghanistan .

When its really hot out she'll dunk her face in a bowl of water and dip her front pads in the water as well, I assume it's to cool off.

Harris says Emmie's partner in Afghanistan, Marine Corporal Andrew Lindstrom contacted the military when he came home.

He was very concerned how she would be treated after she retired as a Marine Corps dog.  For him to go through all that trouble to find out just how Emmie was doing and make sure she was taken care of, just shows me what kind of bond those guys had over there.

But even as she now protects the Pentagon, Emmie likes to stop and visit.

Her special attention devoted to other Marines. She makes sure there's time for officer harris tell about her old unit.

It was a reserve unit out of Hawaii.

Now going to give her a job here and keep her working she's not ready to quit yet.

But then its right back to work--sniffing, searching, patrolling to make sure everyone stays safe.

Since 9-11, the military has trained more than 3,000 dogs.

At the height of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts--nearly 700 were on the front lines.

Most troops will tell you, when it comes to sniffing explosives - they'd rather have a dog with them than the fanciest piece of equipment.