Air Force sergeant gives K9 partner one last hug

CHARLOTTE, North Carolina -- A North Carolina Air Force sergeant was captured in a viral photo saying farewell to his beloved K9 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 K9 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 K9 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.