Marine dog serves 3 tours in Iraq. His goodbye after battle with cancer has thousands sobbing

Humans aren’t the only animals who serve in the Armed Services overseas. Dogs do too.

Cena, a 10-year-old black lab, was a Marine that served three tours in Afghanistan.

That’s why he was honored with all the glory of a human soldier when he was euthanized after being stricken with cancer.

The ceremony, where Cena was carried away in a flag-draped coffin, was organized by his owner, Lance Cpl. Jeff DeYoung, and held in Muskegon, MI at the USS LST 393, according to the New York Daily News.

DeYoung was paired with the bomb-sniffing soldier in 2009 and in 2010 in Afghanistan. He adopted Cena in 2014.

“My whole adult life I’ve had Cena,” DeYoung told New York Daily News. “When I was 19 overseas learning how to be responsible, I had Cena. And now I’m 27 and I’m having to say goodbye to one of the biggest pieces of my life.”

DeYoung says Cena helped him make it through war time and his post-traumatic stress disorder.

DeYoung said he threw himself over Cena during a Taliban fire and Cena kept DeYoung warm on cold nights.

Cena also comforted him after seven of his friends died in three weeks.

Hundreds of people attended the ceremony, including the U.S. Marine Corps. League, Michigan State Police, Muskegon County Sheriff’s Office, Muskegon City Police, Muskegon Fire Department, officers from other departments and a canine officer named Rex.

“It started off with my basically wanting to go to a dealership and wanted to borrow a Jeep for a day and really small to a community tribute or a community parade for him and he’s truly deserved it all,” DeYoung told Fox 5 KVVU-TV. “The support, all the love people are giving him, he can see it and he can feel it. Any dog that served overseas deserves exactly what I’ve done for Cena, if not more.”

Cena, who was diagnosed with bone cancer, was dressed in a blue Marine vest during the ceremony. “Taps” played as attendees gave him a final three-volley salute.

“Every Marine has to go out in a set of dress blues,” DeYoung told FOX 8. “That’s just the way we are. He’s got his ribbons, he’s got his decorations, he’s dressed to the nines. He got a fresh grooming service today and we are ready to make peace with what we have to do.”

Cena was euthanized on the ship after the ceremony.

“I want to run away and not face what I must do,” DeYoung wrote on Facebook. “But he needs me to be strong and set him free.”

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Source: Fox 5 KVVU-TV

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