Fallen Camp Pendleton Marine's Parents Adopt His Military Dog (Video)
Fallen Marine Staff Sgt. Christopher Diaz was not alone when he died Sept. 28, 2011, in Afghanistan — Dino, his bomb-sniffing military dog, was at his side.
On Saturday, Diaz's parents adopted Dino in a special ceremony at Camp Pendleton.
Christopher's father, Salvador Diaz, told the El Paso Times that he asked the Marine Corps if he could adopt Dino, a 6-year-old Belgian Malinois, after his son's death.
The Los Angeles Times reports the Marine Corps first had to get approval from the Navy. Then, Dino had to be examined to make sure he could adapt to living in a family environment:
Dino had to pass a test developed by specialists at the military dog training school at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas to make sure that he did not suffer the canine equivalent of post-traumatic stress disorder after his combat experience.
Christopher's mom Sandra Diaz explained to the LA Times that while adopting Dino won't take away the pain of losing Christopher, it will help bring a bit of closure:
"It's going to be helpful — we'll have something to hold on to.
"Dino will be our baby."
San Diego television station KFMB-TV was at the ceremony and put together this report: