Hundreds of people came out to say goodbye and pay their respects to an American hero who served his country. His name is Cena, and he was a 10-year-old black lab that served three tours in Afghanistan with the U.S. Marines. Sadly, Cena had terminal cancer and it was time for him to be euthanized. But before he passed away, he received a hero’s farewell in Michigan on Wednesday.
Cena was a bomb-sniffing dog for the Marines until his retirement in 2014. He then became a service dog for Lance Cpl. Jeff DeYoung, who was his partner in Afghanistan for three years. DeYoung carried Cena across rivers and protected him from Taliban gunfire. Cena comforted DeYoung when he lost seven friends in three weeks during his service. Cena helped DeYoung deal with his post-traumatic stress disorder. Two weeks ago, DeYoung found out that Cena had terminal bone cancer. He wanted to send his wartime partner out with dignity and give people a chance to thank Cena. The black lab’s last activity on his bucket list was one last ride in a Jeep before Cena was put down.
At a museum ship in Muskegon, Michigan, Cena received a tear-eyed send-off by hundreds who wanted to celebrate the life of this American hero. He was carried off in a casket, which was draped by an American flag. Following the ceremony, the dog was put to sleep. “My whole adult life I’ve had Cena,” DeYoung said.