Marine Lab receives final farewell

Dozens of people lined the streets of Muskegon, Michigan in late July to bid a final farewell to Cena, a ten-year-old black Marine Lab.

Cena, who served as a bomb sniffing dog in Afghanistan, was diagnosed with terminal bone cancer earlier this year.

He was paired with his handler, Lance Cpl. Jeff DeYoung, in 2009, when he was just a pup as part of a nine month tour in Afghanistan.

Although DeYoung and Cena were separated after their return to the U.S., DeYoung was able to adopt him years later. Since then, Cena served as a service dog to DeYoung, to cope with his 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. This dog saved my life. I trust him more than I trust most human beings,” told DeYoung to NBC Nightly News.

A GoFundMe page was setup for Cena to raise money for “awesome food,” to cover his medical bills, to purchase a headstone or statue for the dog, and rent a jeep with a top down “so he can stick his head out and catch some wind before his trip upstairs,” says the page.

The $40,000 target has long been surpassed.

The lab will be laid to rest on Aug. 26. Cena will receive full military honours.





Show More

Mishall Rehman

Originally from Atlanta, GA, Mishall is a freelance journalist pursuing her passion for writing in her new homeland Canada. She currently lives in Trenton, ON with her husband.

Leave a Reply

Canadian Military Family Magazine