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Marine K-9 Takes One Last Emotional Ride with Veteran

Marine K-9 Takes One Last Emotional Ride with Veteran

Hundreds of people gathered in Michigan to say a goodbye to a cancer-stricken dog who served three tours in Afghanistan with the U.S. Marines.

Cena, a 10-year-old old black lab, received a hero’s farewell Wednesday before being euthanized at the USS LST 393, a museum ship in Muskegon, and carried off in a flag-draped coffin.

Cena, who was recently diagnosed with terminal bone cancer, was a bomb-sniffer for the Marines until his retirement in 2014.

The hero’s sendoff was organized by his owner, Lance Cpl. Jeff DeYoung, who was paired with Cena in 2009 and 2010 while on a combat tour in Afghanistan. He adopted Cena in 2014.

Cena then became DeYoung’s service dog to help him with his post-traumatic stress disorder.

DeYoung said he’s carried Cena across rivers and thrown his body over him while under heavy fire from the Taliban. He said Cena kept DeYoung’s body warm during cold desert nights, and comforted him when he lost seven friends in three weeks.

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

Before saying goodbye, the two went on one last adventure together. The pair took off to ride in a topless Jeep, wearing custom dress blues. The vehicle was decorated and named “Cancer Response Team.”

DeYoung and his best friend then took their final walk as fellow service members and public safety officials gave one final three-volley salute with taps playing in the background for Cena, who was wearing a decorated blue Marine vest.

“Any dog that served overseas deserves exactly what I’ve done for Cena, if not more,” DeYoung said.

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Doc MacIntyre - May 4, 2020

In Vietnam wounded K9s were alway an emergency Medevac. We risked our lives to save them, and because they risked their lives to save us. These war dogs have earned the title United States Marine and deserve full military honors. Semper Fi Sgt. Cerna.

Edward Jarosh U.S.M.C. 1964-1967 - May 4, 2020

Semper Fi. A job well done, You have done well in your service to Sgt. Cena and the Corps. With all due respect a Hand Salute and a final Semper Fi ,to someone who deserves it . I am saddened by this event.

Frank Shelton - May 4, 2020

Sgt. Cena, “HAND SALUTE” , Semper FI brothers!

Ralph and Linda Lutz - May 4, 2020

Sorry for your loss of Cena. All dogs are faithful and loving no matter what their size. I was not a US Marine but I am married to a US Marine and he is also very sorry for your loss. He served in Nam and has agent orange in his body.. But said he would go again and fight for a beloved USA just like Cena My heart goes out to you LCPL De Young but God is keeping Cena in good health at Rainbow Bridge…. Semper FI to you and all US Marines living and passed ONCE A MARINE ALWAYS A MARINE

Cpl Ed Herzog - May 4, 2020

RIP Cena and ‘Thank You fellow Marine’ for a job well done! over and over. “SEMPER FI”

Cpl Larry D. McKee Veteran - May 4, 2020

Cpl Larry D McKee Cena May the Lord bless and keep you – I do Pray. Semper Fi

CWO5 C.A. Larson, USMC (Retired) - May 4, 2020

Dogs have always been Mans best friend but Marine Canines are a large step beyond the norm. Rest easy Marine because all your Marine Brothers are feeling your loss and wish you and Cena only the best. S/F

Albert Billalobos - May 4, 2020

Semper Fi devil dog, you did us proud. One day we will see each other again, rest in peace Cena. Tip of hat, SEMPER FI!!!!!!

Gary Ross - May 4, 2020

This is for Major Anthony P. Oliva, USMC Ret.: “By any chance would you happen to be from Cincinnati, Ohio? And by chance were you a “Mustang” officer? A good friend of mine named Tony Oliva from Cincinnati, we served together in Nam, this would have been in mid-60’s. Not sure who he was with. I was with F/2/26 @Khe Sanh. Would appreciate a reply.” Gary Ross

Harriet, Ken, Craig and Cody Link - May 4, 2020

Semper Fi, always loyal, always faithful………….definitely will be waiting at the “rainbow bridge”

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