Marine Veteran Bomb-Sniffing Dog Laid To Rest, A Beautiful Parade And Emotional Goodbye

U.S. Marine Corps Bomb-Sniffing dog for four and a half years, Cena, a Black Labrador Retriever, was laid to rest by his best friend Lance Cpl. Jeffrey DeYoung. This moment was an emotional goodbye for everyone, remembering and honoring a life diligently served for our freedom.


Cena was a hero. He set the bar high for what a canine hero really is. Who knows, maybe someday he will even have a movie made about him. That’s just the kind of hero he was. During his service, he formed an unbreakable bond with Lance Corporal DeYoung while they were together for six months of service in Afghanistan. This type of relationship is so deep, that unless you have walked the path of a soldier in combat, it is difficult to understand fully.



They kept each other warm and safe through the most difficult nights and treacherous paths. Whether under fire from the Taliban or needing comfort from the devastating losses they encountered, they stuck by each other’s sides faithfully.


DeYoung was honorably discharged and had to part from his partner while the K9 Marine finished out four more years. It was inconceivably difficult for them to be apart. So when Cena finally retired, DeYoung didn’t waste any time in adopting his best friend and fellow veteran.



They then had three beautiful years of life together and enjoyed every moment. They were finally free to enjoy normal civilian life together. A true definition of man and man’s best friend, the two were again inseparable. They had paid a high price to get to this moment of enjoying the freedoms they both fought for. It was worth every drop of blood, sweat, and tears.


It came as a horrendous shock to everyone who loved Cena, but especially DeYoung, when Cena was diagnosed with terminal bone cancer. DeYoung decided to make the most of their time left together. He was determined to give Cena the best moments all the way until the end.


When the time came to part with his best friend, DeYoung took to Facebook to express his grief:


“My last night with Cena.. words cannot convey what I’m feeling and thinking. I want to run away and not face what I must do. But he needs me to be strong and set him free. He has blessed my life with love and admiration, happiness and strength. Because of him I got to have a family. Because of him, I was able to live. May God forgive me for what I do tomorrow. And may the Lord greet you with open arms and a nice ear scratch.


Goodnight my friend, goodbye my brother. May you rest your head tonight knowing how loved you are and how dearly you will be missed.” –Jeffrey DeYoung/Facebook


DeYoung and the Patriot Guard Riders gave Cena a wonderful send off. They celebrated his life and gave a final goodbye from all who loved him so deeply.




The day after Cena was put to sleep and laid to rest, DeYoung wrote this beautiful and heartfelt message on his Facebook page:


“Goodbye my brother, goodnight my friend, may the halls of Valhalla greet you with open arms and may the Lord offer you peace and comfort. Please give a few cuddles to Yazzie and Rangel. And I will see you again. I’ve carried you in this life. Now I carry you in my heart.


It was you and me against the world… And we won.


I started a new life today, no tail wag when I woke up. No carrying you down the steps or cooking a steak. The toilet lid stayed down this morning. And there will no longer be a squeaky toy to step on. Even though you never spoke the silence is now deafening. But you taught me how to be strong and how to survive. I am so damn proud of you, you have loved my daughters and loved me unconditionally and for that I will be strong, I will be here and I will continue the mission.


I love you.” – Jeffrey DeYoung/Facebook



Even four months later, the pain was still very real for DeYoung.


“I opened a door today. I sat among your things and I cried. Shoulder shuddering, deep sobbing. Oh, how I miss you, little brother. I still can’t remove your things from here. But today I opened the door. It’s been 4 months to the day since you passed. And I’m sorry it took me so long to do do this.” –Jeffrey DeYoung/Facebook



DeYoung and Cena are a classic example of how beautifully mutual relationships can be with owners and their dogs. We salute you, Lance Corporal Jeffrey DeYoung, and your best friend Cena, for playing a part in giving us the freedoms we so much appreciate in this country. Thank you for your service and your life.



Watch this moving video below and share to spread thankfulness to those who serve our country!


Click like if you love dogs :)