Cena the War Dog laid to rest at memorial Saturday

Posted at 6:27 AM, Aug 26, 2017

SOUTH LYON, Mich. --  An emotional service at the Michigan War Dog Memorial to lay Cena the War Dog to rest, after losing his battle with bone cancer last month.

The dog and his handler met on assignment in Afghanistan in 2009.

The bomb-sniffing black lab was buried with full military honors Saturday at noon. He served alongside Marine Corporal Jeffery DeYoung in Afghanistan.,who gave a touching goodbye to his best friend:

"(He) had no choice in the military, did three combat deployments, three Marines, got blown up seven times on his second deployment, twice on his first. However many times, we don't know, on his third deployment," said DeYoung. He was reunited with Cena in 2014, in Michigan. But the dog developed terminal bone cancer and had to be euthanized. But not before a Final Ride was held July 26, with Cena sitting in a topless Jeep.

Today's funeral convoy traveled from Muskegon and Battle Creek to the service in Oakland County.

The funeral comes this same week the USS LST 393 Veterans Museum in Muskegon set up a special memorial recognizing Cena and some of his canine comrades.

Corporal DeYoung says people who say it was just a dog are wrong. "That is so untrue. When you look out there today and you see all these vehicles, the 400 people lining up to pay their respects to a canine...he was not just a dog. He was an American hero."

Tanya O'Connor of Clio is one of those who attended today's service. "I have goosebumps; it's nice to see so many people show up and be supportive." Andrew Schimmoeller of South Lyon expressed a similar sentiment: "You want to teach your kids what honor and respect is all about. So, this was a good opportunity."