Military dogs, like police dogs, are heroes too. They become part of the team, and in many instances, save the lives of their human partner and those around them.

In the photo above, you can see Sergeant Kyle Smith holding onto his furry partner, Bodza, for the last time. The German Shepherd was his put down, and Smith was captured cradling the dog, draped with an American flag.

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After serving four tours together, Smith said that the decision to put Bodza down was among the hardest decisions he has ever made. After Bodza retired in 2014, Kyle adopted him.

Bodza was diagnosed with degenerative myelopathy last year, and his health quickly began to suffer.

 

This is when Smith had to make the heartbreaking decision to put down his best friend, to end his suffering.

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WSOC reports that Smith told Bodza,  “I’m going to miss you” as he sat there through the canine’s last breaths.

Smith said: “I hugged him and told him that I loved him a lot, ‘I’m gonna miss you’. He was as much a part of the Air Force as me. I couldn’t have done the mission I did without him there.”

Kyle added that he gave Bodza a “final treat” from McDonald’s. “He got a Big Mac. He didn’t leave a crumb.”