Lance Cpl. Jeff DeYoung met Cena when he was nineteen-years-old while serving in Afghanistan. The bomb-sniffing canine marine and DeYoung served together for nine months. DeYoung fought to adopt Cena after the completion of his military duties. They were officially brought back together four years later. Cena became an intricate part of DeYoung’s life as his service dog, helping him cope with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
“My whole adult life I’ve had Cena. When I was 19 overseas learning how to be responsible, I had Cena. And now I’m 27 and I’m having to say goodbye to one of the biggest pieces of my life,” DeYoung told NBC’s Nightly News. “This dog saved my life. I trust him more than I trust most human beings.”
DeYoung and the community came together to plan a final ride for Cena to honor his life, dedication, and service. The procession led Cena through the town while he laid in the back seat with his human. They made their way to a military ship where Cena was carried on to say his final goodbye to DeYoung. A veterinarian then ended Cena’s suffering.
Cena will forever be cherished for both his service and love. Watch the entire touching story below!