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Air Force Sgt. says goodbye to K9 partner, adopted pet

(Courtesy: CNN Newsource/WSOC/Staff Sgt. Kyle Smith/ Vet Hospital)

CHARLOTTE, NC (WSYX/WTTE) -- It's a heartbreaking image that's gone viral.

Air Force Sergeant Kyle Smith had the painstaking decision to put down Bodza, his long-time K9 partner, both in combat and day-to-day life.

Bodza served with Sgt. Smith over four deployments and provided security for many officials, WSOC reports.

When the K9 retired in 2014, Smith took him in as a pet. In recent months, Bodza's got sick and was in constant pain and suffering. So, Sgt. Smith decided to euthanize him.

For his last supper, he was given a Big Mac. Sgt. Smith said he didn't leave a crumb.

When the difficult time came for Bodza, Smith was there by his side.

"I hugged him and told him I loved him a lot. I'm going to miss you."

Afterward, a fellow military canine trainer draped a flag over Bodza, where Smith gave his friend one last hug, when the photo was taken.

"He just as much as I am, was a part of the Air Force. And everything that he did -- I wouldn't be able to do a mission I did with him or his previous handlers without him there."

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