This heartwarming story of duty, loss, and family highlights the Diaz family, whose son perished in Afghanistan, but whose dog Dino recently came home to live with the grieving family.
Parents of a Marine who was killed in Afghanistan have adopted the bomb-sniffing dog that was with their son on his final mission.
Staff Sgt. Christopher Diaz’s parents took in Dino, a 6-year-old Belgian Malinois, on Saturday after a brief ceremony at Camp Pendleton, where the canine was discharged from active duty, the Associated Press reported.
Dino was with Diaz, 27, on Sept. 28, 2011 when the sergeant was killed by an explosive device as he rushed to aid a fellow Marine during a raid in Helmand province.
The Marine’s father, Salvador Diaz, reached out to the military shortly after his son’s death to see about adopting Dino.
They had to wait about three years to take in the dog, first because he was young and still able to serve, and later because he needed to pass behavioral tests, Salvador Diaz said. It was well worth waiting, Salvador Diaz said.
“This is something that was with Christopher at the time of his death,” the father told TODAY.com. “He doesn’t replace Christopher, but it does give us a little bit of Christopher.”