Air Force sergeant gives K-9 partner one last hug

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A North Carolina Air Force sergeant was captured in a viral photo saying farewell to his beloved K-9 partner. The powerful image shows the loss of the unspoken bond between a man and his dog who both served our country.

"He was just goofy. He liked running around and just being a dog," Sgt. Kyle Smith said.

WSOC reports K-9 Bodza was paired with Sgt. Smith during four deployments and for security for many officials. When Bodza was retired in 2014, Smith took him as a pet. But in the past few months Bodza became ill, was in pain and had to be put down. Smith gave his pal a last meal at McDonalds.

"He got a Big Mac. By the way, he didn't leave a crumb," he said.

And when the end came, Sgt. Smith was right there by his side.

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

And when a fellow military K-9 trainer draped this flag over Bodza, it meant a lot to Smith, so he gave his friend one last hug in this photo.

"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," he said.