Bodza, an 11-year-old German Shepherd, led a full and important life, and his warriors will never forget him. He served in the United States Air Force as a bomb detection dog, assisting soldiers in Iraq, Kyrgyzstan, and Kuwait. The devoted dog risked his life numerous times to ensure the safety of American soldiers. And his unflinching efforts will never be forgotten.
When he succumbed to his sickness, he received a hero’s farewell!
Bozda had a special relationship with one particular soldier. Alex Smith is his given name. Since 2012, the two have collaborated. And they formed a close friendship following a security deployment in Kyrgyzstan.
“I enjoyed working with him because he taught me a lot – patience as a rookie handler and how to recognize that this profession is not solely about you,” Smith told The Dodo.
“Bodza was an endearing and kind dog,” Smith remarked. “We had horse stables directly adjacent to our obedience yard, and no obedience could be performed while [the horses] were out. He’d continuously run the fence line.”
Unfortunately, the courageous dog was diagnosed with a terrible spine condition in 2016. “His hind limbs ceased to function, and he could barely stand, let alone walk,” Smith explained. “He was unable to cope with the strain on his body, and using the lavatory was a chore.”
Smith brought Bodza to a facility in El Paso, Texas, where he is now employed as a military dog handler. He was greeted there by other soldiers who had previously worked with the obedient K9. It was time to say good-bye to Bodza.
“I had Bodza in my arms when he passed,” Smith explained. “It was a whirlwind of events. It was simply insurmountable.”
“He was smiling as he was put to sleep,” he continued.
All those there recognized that Bozda deserved a hero’s farewell in his current state. As a result, they’ve decided to drape an American flag around the dog’s torso.
And the image of the soldiers giving their final farewells to this beloved military dog quickly went viral. And it’s not without justification. Bodzi’s story will impact not only K9 handlers who have worked with dogs overseas, but also all animal lovers and real Americans everywhere.
Watch the video above to see how unique the friendship between our warriors and their dogs can be!