DETROIT, Mich. (June 5, 2014) — Grand Rapids native Lance Cpl. Jeff DeYoung was waiting at Detroit Metro Airport Thursday morning, where the plane with his contract working dog Cena arrived.
“I was 19 years old in the war zone, he was always by my side helping me through it,” DeYoung said.
The black lab specialized in improvised explosives detection and is credited for saving the lives of several service members, including DeYoung.
Now that Cena is retiring from military service, DeYoung is adopting him.
DeYoung served in the Marine Corps from 2009 to 2013, and Cena was with him for two of those years.
The American Humane Association and Mission K-9 Rescue made Thursday’s reunion possible. The organizations work together to bring military war dogs back to the U.S. and reconnect them with their former handlers.