An Air Force sergeant said goodbye to his bomb-sniffing buddy in a photo that’s tugging America’s heartstrings WSOC-TV/screenshot

An Air Force sergeant from Gastonia, N.C., who served for four deployments with his bomb-sniffing K-9 Bodza and later adopted him as a pet, gave the dog a hero’s sendoff that’s making the internet tear up.


Staff Sgt. Kyle Smith’s canine comrade-in-arms and pet was euthanized Thursday after the dog’s condition deteriorated in recent months.

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According to WSOC-TV, Bodza had been sick and in pain for the past few months.

“I hugged him and told him I loved him a lot. I’m going to miss you,” Sgt. Smith said. “He was just goofy. He liked running around and just being a dog.”


“I wouldn’t be able to do a mission I did with him or his previous handlers without him there,” he added. “He was as much a part of the Air Force as me.”

Before the final goodbye, Sgt. Smith treated Bodza to a Big Mac that he says was devoured in full.

“He got a Big Mac. By the way, he didn’t leave a crumb,” he said.

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The moving photo of Sgt. Smith hugging his canine draped in the American flag is a perfect illustration of their relationship and shows how important these creatures are in solving some of the world’s worst problems.


Raise a glass to this dog for a job well done.

Matt Naham About the author:
Matt Naham is the Weekend Editor  for Rare. Follow him on Twitter @matt_naham.
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