CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. - A military dog whose handler was killed in Afghanistan was adopted by the fallen Marine's family, thanks to an approval by Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus.
Staff Sgt. Christopher Diaz died on Sept. 28, 2011, while serving in the Helmand Province in Afghanistan. Military officials say Diaz was considered one of the most experienced military police dog handlers in the Marine Corps.
Salvador Diaz, the fallen Marine's father, asked the military if his family could adopt Dino, Diaz's MWD (military working dog).
Military officials initially denied the request, saying Dino, who specialized in finding explosives, was too young. However, Mabus granted the family's request on May 29.
The Diaz family officially adopted Dino in a ceremony held at Camp Pendleton Saturday.
"He is a duplicate of Christopher; I mean, it's just amazing," said Sandra Diaz, Christopher Diaz's mother.
"There's a public law that allows, under unique situations like this, to assist families with the grieving. We're with Wounded Warriors for rehabilitation that allows us to take an operational dog and adopt it out to the families," said Marine Corps Operations Manager Richard Landgrebe.
"We know that he's not going to replace Christopher, but what he will do is give us a little bit of what Christopher loved and that was the Marine Corps, that was Dino," said Salvador Diaz.
According to military officials, Diaz was buried with full military honors at Fort Bliss National Cemetery in Texas.
Clinton's Syria no-fly zone push, explained
Hillary Clinton's call for a no-fly zone puts her at odds with her other Democratic challengers, Martin O'Malley and Bernie Sanders.
Man survives Australian Outback by eating ants
Six days after going missing, a Perth man was discovered in West Australia's Goldfields region Tuesday.
Flogging case strains UK-Saudi relations
The case of a 74-year-old British man sentenced to 350 lashes in Saudi Arabia for having wine comes at a strained time for Saudi-UK relations.
Crowd heckles silent moment for Ankara victims
A minute of silence for the victims of the Ankara bombing was interrupted at a Turkish football game by a whistling crowd.