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Lejeune prisoners train service dogs for injured comrades

CAMP LEJEUNE (AP) -- Prisoners in Camp Lejeune's brig are training service dogs that will one day help Marines who have been disabled in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Prisoners in the program tell the News & Observer of Raleigh that training the dogs helps them focus, gives them self-respect and allows them to contribute to the country they let down. Civilian prisoners have trained dogs since 1981, but the new program at Camp Lejeune is thought to be the first in a military prison. The six dogs in the program will eventually be able to load laundry, perform simple banking transactions and even get a drink from a refrigerator. Carolina Canines for Service owner Rick Hairston proposed the training program to Lejeune officials. He said the dogs will help provide wounded troops some independence they need. (Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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