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Published Apr. 9, 2014

Eddie the war hero is retiring, tail and all. The Belgian Malinois that may have saved the life of his handler and others in Afghanistan in 2012 is retiring with military honors at a ceremony Friday, MacDill Air Force Base said. "Most significantly, Eddie's role in Operation Enduring Freedom resulted in him locating two improvised explosive devices containing 10 pounds of homemade explosives, which saved the lives of his 13-member patrol unit comprising U.S. allied forces," the base said. Eddie, a bomb-sniffing dog assigned to MacDill's 6th Security Forces Squadron, has served for about five years. In retirement, he will be reunited with his first handler, Andrew Grymes. Air Force Staff Sgt. Shannon Hutto credits Eddie with saving his life during a mission. On May 23, 2012, Hutto had Eddie on a leash leading a platoon during a daytime patrol. The group stopped to rest. It wasn't long before the group got the command to move out. Hutto stood and took one step, but Eddie wouldn't budge. The dog lowered his nose to the dirt. He nudged something under the dust. Hutto looked closely. Just 6 inches from his foot was the contact plate that would have detonated an improvised explosive device.