You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myStatesman.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myStatesman.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myStatesman.com.

Military K9 gets final honor as partner drapes remains in American flag


An unsung military hero has received a final honor

Air Force Staff Sgt. Kyle Smith found out that his former partner-turned-pet was going to have to be put down.

Bodza was paired with Smith during a deployment in 2012 to Kyrgyzstan. But while Bodza was a working dog, meant to keep his partner and national interests safe, Smith considered his partner a gentle giant.

"He was trained to bite, but I swear he only did it to make people happy. He had no interest in the world of hurting anyone," Smith told Inside Edition.

When Bodza was retired from service two years later, Smith's superior had a surprise for him.

"They went out and put a bowl, a brand-new leash and two collars, and they put (Bodza) at the back of my Jeep. I got to take him home the same day he retired," Smith said.

Smith noticed last year that his companion wasn't doing well. 

He thought a case of hip dysplasia prevented the dog from being able to jump into his vehicle. But he eventually realized that Bodza was in pain and wasn't able to easily walk, Inside Edition reported.

Bodza was diagnosed with degenerative myelopathy. Smith made the decision to put Bodza out of his misery.

That day came last week.

"I just kept holding him, rubbing and kissing his head, telling him, 'I'm going to miss you'," Smith said.

When his bosses found out what was happening at the veterinarian’s office, they went there to give Smith and Bodza their support.

Then asked staff for a special honor: the building’s American flag to drape over Bodza to honor him for his service. 

A soldier drapes an American flag over his former military dog partner's body after he is put down. https://t.co/hw7m0UNQqT pic.twitter.com/VFRw9PU6lq

— Inside Edition (@InsideEdition) March 7, 2017

"The worst thing you can do is not to recognize these dogs for what they are. For these guys to do this for a dog they've never even met... he got a good sendoff that day," Smith told Inside Edition.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Nation & World

Man reportedly kills three teens with AR-15 during Oklahoma home invasion attempt
Man reportedly kills three teens with AR-15 during Oklahoma home invasion attempt

Three teens are dead after an alleged home invasion attempt reportedly ended in a shooting Monday. It happened in the Wagoner County part of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. According to officials with the Wagoner County Sheriff's Office, three masked people broke into the house through the back door with the intent of burglarizing the home.  Officials...
Trump to meet with Chinese president at Mar-a-Lago next week
Trump to meet with Chinese president at Mar-a-Lago next week

President Donald Trump will meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida, next week, according to Lantana Police Chief Sean Scheller. >> Read more trending news Scheller made the announcement Monday at the Lantana Town Council meeting, and said the Chinese president plans to stay at...
Texas: Quick-thinking Boy Scouts save man’s life on sailboat
Texas: Quick-thinking Boy Scouts save man’s life on sailboat

What would you do if you found yourself with your father’s life in your hands? That was the situation 14-year-old Tex “T” Mitchell IV faced one afternoon while sailing on Lake Belton, west of Temple, Texas, with three of his friends under the guidance of his dad. >> Read more trending news “My dad started laying down and...
5 inspiring quotes from iconic Muslim women to celebrate #MuslimWomensDay
5 inspiring quotes from iconic Muslim women to celebrate #MuslimWomensDay

Monday, March 27, marks the first-ever Muslim Women’s Day — a day for Muslim women to share their stories and for others to celebrate them during Women’s History Month. Created by MuslimGirl.com with the help of dozens of media groups and websites, the day is an opportunity to “hear from a community that’s often talked...
GameStop to close 150 stores
GameStop to close 150 stores

GameStop, a video game and consumer electronics retailer, will close at least 150 stores after reporting another year of declined sales. The Texas-based company released its report of sales and earnings for 2017 last week, and projected a grim 2017 for some stores. In the fourth quarter of last year, total global sales decreased nearly 14 percent...
More Stories