Military Dogs Receive Medals of Valor for Their Life-Saving Work

The brave canines were honored on Capitol Hill.

Five military dogs have been honored on Capitol Hill for their life-saving work.

Summer, a 7-year-old yellow Labrador, and retired Air Force Sgt. Micah Jones, are a TSA explosives-detection team working for the Amtrak police.

Summer has also saved the lives of numerous U.S. Marines while working as a bomb-sniffing dog in Afghanistan. 

She was honored with the American Humane Lois Pope K-9 Medal of Courage Tuesday.

Jones says he has the best job in the world because he gets to spend all day with his best friend.

"The times where I have training and I have to leave her at home — it's horrible," Jones told CBS News.

There are roughly 2,500 active-duty military dogs that serve the U.S.

"Not only do they protect our troops, but they provide that camaraderie and boost morale and help comfort people when they're off and on their downtime as well," Amy McCullough, national director of American Humane's Lois Pope Life Center for Military Affairs, told WBUR.

Another military dog, Jag, a 12-year-old Labrador retriever, was also honored during the ceremony for his work as a specialized search dog in the army.

He attended along with his owner, retired Army Sgt. Dennis Dow.

Dow says Jag came under fire many times in Afghanistan and said there is no way he’d be alive if not for his beloved dog.

"There's a lot of guys who'd be dead today," Dow told CBS News. "A whole lot."

Dow's wife, Jacqueline, says Jag still plays a vital role as helps her husband cope with a severe case of post-traumatic stress disorder.

She said Jag is the only reason why her husband leaves the house.

Dow tries every day to pay Jag back for all he's done.

"This guy took care of me," Dow said. "It's my turn to take care of him."

The other dogs honored at the ceremony were Taker and Taba. The fifth, Jig, could not make the event due to illness.