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SAUGATUCK, Mich. — Rico served two tours in Afghanistan where he went on 240 missions and survived at least 30 firefights.

Rico, a 12-year-old German Shepherd who retired from the military in 2012, died Saturday. He was laid to rest with the honor due to such a patriotic pup.

“I wouldn’t have missed this for the world,” Marine Staff Sgt. Russ Beckley Jr., who worked with Rico, told WOOD-TV. “There was not a moment that it wasn’t his mission or his goal to be by my side. I was everything to him, and he was everything to me.”

Beckley’s parents were watching Rico while he continues his military service.

To honor Rico, the Beckley’s flew their flag at half-staff. Visitors paid respect at a homemade memorial. Father and son, dressed in their uniforms, carried the heroic dog in a flag-draped coffin.

“I can just imagine one day, seeing my great grandfather, my grandfather, my father and my mother, standing there with Rico. And we will all be together again,” Beckley said.