The bravest men and women in the military earn distinctions for their heroic actions, and the same is true for service dogs. The four-legged troops have served a vital role over the last decade of war and one in particular is up for the 2012 Hero Dog Award from the American Humane Society, according to Army Times.

The nominee is Gabe, a retired Army working dog who spent time in Iraq helping detect everything from bombs to enemy ammunition and guns. His handler, Staff Sgt. Chuck Shuck, says the pair were very successful while they were in the field.

"We started finding some stuff and going out on missions," Shuck told Army Times. "We found some AK47s that were hidden, and in one of Gabe's biggest finds, we found 36 122mm mortar rounds on the banks of the Tigris River."

Gabe has a good shot at bringing home the award – he has a 90,000 vote lead over the next closest competitor in his category.

According to the Department of Defense, military working dogs have been a vital part of the Armed Forces since World War II, when they helped detect enemies. Additionally, as many as 4,000 military dogs served in Vietnam.