War Heroes Reunited

Sgt. Rex, the military working dog that hunted down and disarmed improvised explosive devices in Iraq, will be reunited with his partner, retired Marine Corps veteran Corp. Megan Leavey.

Posted: March 21, 2012, 5 p.m. EST

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Photo from schumer.senate.gov

Serving in two deployments to Iraq, Leavey and Sgt. Rex saved countless lives as they scoured the war’s most dangerous regions, uncovering deadly explosives, IEDs, weapons and suicide bombers.

After both were seriously injured in the line of duty, Leavey tried to adopt Rex when she retired in 2007, but was denied as Rex was deemed able to work. Once Sgt. Rex turned 10 years old, the age of retirement, Leavey renewed her efforts to bring Rex home to New York.

In a letter to the Secretary of the Air Force, Michael B. Donley, U.S. Sen. Charles E. Schumer urged him to expedite the process to reunite Rex and Leavey as quickly as possible. Schumer launched an online petition of support, which has already received over 20,000 signatures.

"I can think of no better ending to a story that inspired a nation than to see Sgt. Rex come home to his best friend. While millions of dog lovers across the country have a deep bond with their ‘best friend,’ the bond forged between Corporal Leavey and Sgt. Rex is one that few of us will ever know. It’s only appropriate and right that the two of them enjoy their retirement from the service together,” says Schumer.

The Air Force and the U.S. Marine Corps have agreed to reunite Leavey with Sgt. Rex, and the decision will be finalized any day.

“Rex and I went through a great deal together and I am just so grateful that we will be reunited again,” says Corporal Leavey. “I want to thank Senator Schumer for all of his help getting this done and made public to help me adopt Rex. I also want to thank Randy and Mindy Levine of the NY Yankees for their generosity in providing transportation and medical coverage for Rex for the remainder of his life. And last, but definitely not least, I want to thank the Marine Corps and the Air Force for bringing the two of us together again and trusting that I will make sure Rex has the best home he could possibly have.”

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Terry   Houston, TX

3/24/2012 3:55:41 AM

Thank you Corp. Leavey and Sgt. Rex for your service to our country! SEMPER FI!!!!

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Linda Marie   Albuquerque, NM

3/23/2012 8:17:35 PM

I am so happy that the military saw fit to retire Sgt. Rex with his handler who loved him. I have just read that many of these brave warrior dogs are euthanized after they have been deemed not fit to work. That practice is shameful. I applaud all those who made this possible for Sgt. Rex and hope that this fate is available to all the other brave dogs that help our military. Sgt. Rex "served" and deserves a retirement. That Cpl. Leavey had to go through hoops and wait years is a sign of her devotion to her "partner." I thank them both.

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carole   rockville, MD

3/23/2012 1:18:40 PM

i am relieved and very happy that Rex and Corporal Leavey are reunited, but am disappointed in the Marine Corps an the Air Force for their delays or whatever made Corporal Leavey have to resort to public opinion and Senator Schumer for help for something that should be standard. I can only imagine how many dogs and partners there are that will not be reunited because a lack of public help. Hopefully this will become a standard practice, not an unusual event. There is enough sadness surrounding these deployed men and women without adding to their difficulties with heartless rules.

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Sally   Indianapolis, IN

3/23/2012 8:15:21 AM

I am a firm believer that whenever possible, war dogs and their "person" should be reunited when the dog is retired. They share such a unique bond - more than the usual person/dog bond. Perhaps because it was a "life or death" bond. Thank God Sgt. Rex and Cpl. Leavey are being reunited.

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