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Heartbreaking Photo Shows Soldier Wrapping His Deceased Military Dog Partner’s Body in American Flag

An Air Force soldier held the dog who served as his military partner right to the end as the 11-year-old German Shepherd, Bodza, was put down due to health complications.

Kyle Smith wrapped Bodza in an American flag as he passed away, stating that he stood by him “through better or worse” and that he “held in my arms the entire time.”

The two were first paired in 2012 during a deployment to Kyrgyzstan and Smith later adopted Bodza after the dog’s retirement.

Smith explained to Inside Edition that his superiors arrived to the vet’s office after when they found out about Bodza being put down and requested that an American flag be found.

“The worst thing you can do is not to recognize these dogs for what they are,” Smith explained. “For these guys to do this for a dog they’ve never even met.”

Smith also provided some details of Bodza’s personality, stating that while he would chase his own shadow, like car rides and would often lick windows when he was excited.

Smith adopted Bodza in 2014 when the dog retired from the military. It was actually a surprise from his superiors, who set it up for him knowing that Smith had a bond with Bodza and intended on doing it when it was time for the dog to step down.

Eventually, Smith realized Bodza needed to be euthanized when he was diagnosed with degenerative myelopathy after he had issues moving around.

Watch the clip above, via Inside Edition.

[image via screengrab/CBS Studios]

Follow Justin Baragona on Twitter: @justinbaragona

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