At home or abroad, at peace or in battle, a dog is a man's best friend.

Nobody knows that better now than Sgt. Eric Goldenthal and Corky, the bomb-sniffing dog embedded into his unit. The pair swept through eastern Afghanistan, clearing out hidden explosives to open the path for a squad of Green Berets. Goldenthal, Corky and the rest of the unit continually fought off heavy resistance, Stars and Stripes writes, until Jan. 19 when Goldenthal and Corky were caught between three directions of fire in an ambush.

"And that's when me and him got hit, pretty much the exact same time," Goldenthal recalled. "I just felt it hit the back of my leg and then I heard him crying."

The injuries did not prove life threatening, allowing for a reunion between Goldenthal and Corky at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany.

The critical role dogs serve in the military extends beyond combat situations, however. Emerging studies continually show how dogs trained as mobility assistance animals can help soldiers ease back into life after military service, the Smithsonian has found. As some veterans experience trouble finding an emotional balance during peacetime, dogs have been shown to markedly improve the quality of life of those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.