Dogs, handlers forge unbreakable bonds at Camp Lejeune - WNCT

Dogs, handlers forge unbreakable bonds at Camp Lejeune

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CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -

Here in the east, when most of us think of the military we often think of Marines, tanks and artillery. But a special team of Marines are truly the first line of defense.

For Marines like Sergeant, John Hallmark, dogs are truly man's best friend. As a member of Camp Lejeune's Second Law Enforcement Battalion, Hallmark relies on his bomb- detecting German Shepherd, Miky, to keep him and his fellow Marines safe. He says sessions like these, not only help train the dogs, but also forge an unbreakable bond between the dogs and their handlers.
 
"The relationship you have with your dog matters the most. You have to know your dog inside and out when you're working your dog. When you go down range to deploy to Afghanistan, you have to know what your dog is thinking before he's even thinking it," said Hallmark.
 
Corporal Ryan Hale says one of the most unique things about the relationship is that the dogs are an extension of them. So handlers must stay calm even in the most intense situations that relationship is unique because handlers have to keep their emotions in check, to get the top performance out of their dogs.
 
"Everything runs down leash. If you're having a bad day, your dog's going to have a bad day. If you're coming out motivated, you're dog's going to have a great day," said Hale.
 
The K-9 units are part of Camp Lejeune's II MEF. Base officials say the K-9 units shouldn't be affected by sequestration, because the budget is already approved through the end of this fiscal year.
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