Jeff De Young served in Afghanistan with a bomb-detection dog named Cena N641, a black Labrador. In the intense atmosphere of war the two developed an unbreakable bond. This is the story of how Cena helped Jeff survive not only war, but also life after war.
The day I turned 18 I started Marine Corps boot camp, and 15 months later I went to Afghanistan. It was 2009 and I was absolutely terrified.
They paired us with the dogs based on our personalities. Cena was a slightly goofy, quiet dog, and I was a slightly goofy, quiet kid, so it made sense for us to be with each other.
Together we were known as Kid and Chicken. Chicken was one of those nicknames that you don’t remember where it came from, it just kinda stuck. And although I was 19 by this stage, I looked like I was about 12, I didn’t …