Funeral convoys of Jeeps with American flags are set to cross Michigan on Saturday for a U.S. Marine dog who served three tours in Afghanistan.
A route from Muskegon to Lyon Township will end at the Michigan War Dog Memorial for the noon interment of Cena, a black lab who was euthanized last month after a battle with cancer.
Cena was a bomb-sniffer for the Marines until his retirement in 2014, the Associated Press reports. He later became a service dog for Lance Cpl. Jeff DeYoung, Cena’s first wartime partner. Cena had been diagnosed with terminal bone cancer.
U.S. Marine veteran Lance Cpl. Jeff DeYoung carries Cena a 10-year-old black lab who was a military service dog on July 26, 2017 in Muskegon, Mich. (Photo: Joel Bissell, AP)
DeYoung is to lead the convoy from Muskegon, where hundreds of people came in July to wish Cena farewell. Details are posted on Facebook. A second convoy from southwest Michigan is to link up with it, and details for that one are posted on a separate Facebook page.
A GoFundMe campaign to memorialize Cena raised $62,269 by Thursday morning, well beyond its $40,000 goal. MLive reports that rather than a statue, a rolling tribute to all war dogs will be created -- with donated airbrush work -- with a Jeep Wrangler.
The Michigan War Dogs Memorial is at the former site of an abandoned monument to war dogs discovered in 2010 near 11 Mile and Milford roads in Lyon Township (which has a South Lyon mailing address). Its restoration was completed in 2013, and it contains memorials to more than a dozen war dogs, according to its website.