Airman holds dying military dog, then boss orders staff to get American flag quickly.

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Airman holds dying military dog, then boss orders staff to get American flag quickly.

U.S. Air Force airman Kyle Smith was paired with Bodza, a military dog, when he was deployed to Kyrgyzstan in 2012. After their tour of duty together, Kyle adopted Bodza and lived a long full life together.

Bodza was getting old, however, and soon suffered an incurable spine condition, degenerative myelopathy. Bodza was in constant excruciating pain, so Kyle decided to have Bodza euthanized.

A vet put Bodza down, surrounded by Kyle and his fellow Air Force soldiers. “I held him in my arms the entire time,” Kyle said. “I’ve never cried that much my entire life… I just kept holding him, rubbing and kissing his head, telling him, ‘I’m going to miss you.’”

But Kyle’s superior wanted to add one more touch for the former military dog, calling for an American flag to be draped over his body in recognition of his bravery and service. Hear Kyle and Bodza’ story below…

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