Combat Dog ‘Sgt. Rex’ Soon To Be Reunited With Ex-Marine From Rockland County

ALBANY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A combat dog will finally be reunited in retirement with an ex-Marine handler from Rockland County with whom it was wounded in Iraq.

Senator Charles Schumer announced Monday night that the Air Force agreed to release Sgt. Rex into the care of former Cpl. Megan Leavey.

1010 WINS’ Sonia Rincon Hears From Sen. Schumer

“You don’t know the number of steps that you have to go through — and they’re all over the country and the papers have to be sent here and there. It’s ridiculous,” Schumer told reporters, including 1010 WINS’ Sonia Rincon.

Leavey was injured with Rex in 2006 while trying to disarm an explosive. They convalesced together. Rex is credited with saving lives and uncovering explosives that saved more.

“Rex and I — we went through a great deal together. You know, we were injured together,” Leavey said.

Schumer had intervened when Leavey, a Purple Heart recipient, was first denied in her effort to adopt Rex in 2007. Rex and Leavey had recovered from their injuries, and Rex was returned to service.

Now Rex, a black and brown German Shepherd, is 10 years old and can’t continue his military service, but Schumer said bureaucracy still stood in the way of the adoption.

“We salute the Air Force and the Marines for doing the right thing and allowing Rex to be with Corporal Leavey,” Schumer said Monday night. “One canine, one human, both heroes. They should be united shortly, and we’re glad it’s happening.”

Schumer, a Democrat, had sought to help Leavey cut through red tape to reunite the pair. He also started a national online petition to help persuade the Air Force to act quicker.

“It’s only appropriate and right that the two of them enjoy their retirement from the service together,” Schumer said. “I again want to thank the Air Force and Marines for moving so quickly, and I want to thank the thousands of New Yorkers and Americans who showed their support online.”

Leavey will be flying out to California soon to pick Rex up.

(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

  • George Johnson

    The sad thing here is, the military STILL doesn’t treat their animals right when they’re done with them. When they’re being useful, like finding bombs, they treat them quite well. Similar to police dogs,they’re treated much like humans. But at the end of their “service life”, they’re not even flown home! They’re simply “discharged” on the spot, and left to fend for themselves where ever they happen to be. It’s disgusting. These dogs have saved countless lives, in many ways. They’re treated like human soldiers when active, but at the end, they’re treated like left over garbage.
    And this hasn’t changed anything, except one dog gets to come home. They need to bring them ALL home!!

  • Fred C. Dobbs

    This is the ONE thing he’s done WORTH DOING in ALL his years in D.C.
    He should now retire!

  • NYCsewer

    Its a sad day in American when a loser liberal like Senator Charles Schumer gets involved in an issue like this to earn his money in Washington .Find something important to fix in government like the Debt or Social Security.ANOTHER USELESS SENATOR WHO HAS NEVER HAD A REAL JOB AND FEEDS OFF THE GOVERNMENT

    • Tee

      You have no soul.

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