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Marine K9 retires in La Crosse

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LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) - U.S. Marine dog handler, Alton Kammel reunited with his retired patrol and explosive detection K9, Kas.

Kammel served as Kas' last handler at a training station in Okinawa, Japan.

"When I was away from my family -- literally half the world away -- He helped me through a lot," Kammel said.

The duo never deployed, but Kammel helped his buddy get through three cancer surgeries.

"It was pretty sudden," Kammel said. "Everything just happened so quick and I thought for a second I was really going to lose him."

Once back on U.S. soil, Mission K9 Rescue paid for Kas' flight from San Antonio to Minneapolis to reunite with Kammel.

"They all put themselves on the front lines," Mission K9 Rescue President Kristen Maurer said. "So we feel like it's our way of giving back to them."

Kammel will serve for one more year in the Marines as military police in California.

Kas will stay with his aunt and uncle until Kammel returns.

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Marcus Aarsvold

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