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Retired bomb-sniffing Marine K-9 with cancer receives hero's farewell

DeYoung carries Cena aboard the LST 393 museum ship. Photograph: Joel Bissell/AP

MUSKEGON, Mich. (WSET) - A K-9 that served three tours in Afghanistan with the U.S. Marines received a hero's farewell Wednesday in Michigan.

Cena, a 10-year-old black lab, was diagnosed with terminal bone cancer earlier in July, and didn't have much time left.

After retiring from his bomb-sniffing duties in 2014, Cena became a service dog for his first wartime partner, Lance Cpl. Jeff DeYoung.

DeYoung had to make the tough decision to put Cena down, and wanted to make his last days special.

DeYoung told local media he wanted to take Cena for one last ride in a topless Jeep before he was put down.

That Jeep was decorated and called the “Cancer Response Team.”

According to WZZM, hundreds of people came together to say their tearful goodbyes at the USS LST 393 in Muskegon.

"People showed up and Jeep communities showed up and we have about four Jeep communities coming from around the state," DeYoung told WXMI.

Cena, in his dress blues, got many hugs, scratches, and heartfelt goodbyes.

"Every Marine has to go out in a set of dress blues. that's just the way we are. he's got his ribbons, he's got his decorations, he's dressed to the 9's, he got a fresh grooming service today and we're ready to make peace with what we have to do," DeYoung said.

After the ride, Cena and DeYoung took their final walk as fellow service members gave their final salute to the K-9 hero.

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