Airman Holds Dying Military Dog, Then Boss Orders Staff To Get American Flag Quick

Bodza was a military dog who was paired with U.S. Air Force airman Kyle Smith in 2012 when Kyle was serving in Kyrgyzstan. This is the touching story of their beautiful friendship and the tearful goodbye Kyle had to say to Bodza.    

Bodza, a German Shepherd, lived a long and adventurous life in the military. He put his life on the line every day and saved countless lives. He was a true hero. After his service, he was permanently adopted by his handler, Kyle Smith, and the two were inseparable. Bodza was the joy of Kyle’s life.

But Bodza was also getting old. He was 11-years-old and suffered from degenerative myelopathy, an incurable condition that affected his spinal cord. Kyle, now a military dog instructor, couldn’t see Bodza in such excruciating pain every day and made the heartbreaking decision of putting him down and giving him a peaceful passing.

In his final moments, Bodza was surrounded by all those who loved him, including his Air Force brothers and sisters who memorialized him with honor.

Saying goodbye to his best friend wasn’t easy. Kyle held Bodza in his arms the entire time he was being euthanized. He had never cried this much in his entire life. He kept holding him, rubbing and kissing his head, telling him, ‘I’m going to miss you.’



Kyle couldn’t hide his emotions from his superiors, who saw how much Bodza meant to him and the other airmen, and decided to do something amazing. Kyle’s boss asked Kyle to bring his American flag and drape it over Bodza’s body. It was a hero’s honor that Bodza truly deserved. It moved everyone to tears.


We thank all the dogs in military service, risking their lives every day so others can be safe. Click the video below to watch Bodza’s tearful farewell story.