Marine Successful in Fight to Adopt Military Dog

A woman who served in Iraq for more than three years is now fighting bureaucratic red tape to save the German Shepherd she survived a roadside bomb blast with.

Megan Leavey and Rex

Update (3/19/12) Rex and Megan Leavey will soon be reunited.

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer said the Air Force has indicated that it will release Sgt. Rex in the near future, when he’ll finally have a chance to resume his life with former Cpl. Megan Leavey.

Schumer had originally taken an interest in the case when the Purple Heart recipient began her quest to adopt Sgt. Rex in 2007, and his recent pressure by means of a public petition drive seems to have finally put an end to a conflict that never should have existed.

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

–end update–

Retired military dog handler Megan Leavey, 28, and her military dog Rex both spent a year in rehabilitation after they were nearly killed by a roadside bomb in Ramadi in 2006. After serving on more than 100 missions together, the pair formed a tremendous bond. Now Leavey wants to bring him home.

“He’s done his duty. It’s time for him to relax,” Leavey says.

Leavey has been trying to adopt Rex since being discharged from the military in December 2007. More than fours years later, he still waits for her in a kennel at Camp Pendleton. He was recently diagnosed with facial palsy and can no longer serve, and Leavey wants to adopt him before he is euthanized.

“This is not (the Marines) first priority. A lot of times it gets lost in the shuffle,” Leavey said in an interview with MyFox New York.

She says time is running out for the faithful dog. Fortunately, she has found political help that may finally turn the tables in a long, drawn out effort to save her former partner. Sen. Charles Schumer has stepped in and taken an interest in the case. He has requested that the military expedite Leavey’s application to adopt Sergeant Rex before he is put to sleep.

“The Marines don’t have a reason against reuniting them, it’s just a slow bureaucracy,” Shumer says.

Meanwhile, Rex waits. And Megan Leavey worries. “It’s life or death,” she says.







95 comments

  • Visit site
    March 10, 2012 8:58 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Anne

    Jeesh, breaks my heart.

    Reply
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    March 10, 2012 8:58 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Rachel

    How sad after serving his country to get put down! Who better to care for him than her,sad if they put this dog down after all that.

    Reply
  • March 10, 2012 8:58 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Penny

    RED TAPE!!!! That is terrible..she should have been given first option to adopt the dog…no questions asked… that is so sad….

    Reply
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      March 12, 2012 4:48 pmPosted 2 years ago
      Anonymous

      THE DOG SHOULD HAVE BEEN RIGHT BESIDE THIS SOLDIER ON THE SAME PLANE…..NO QUESTIONS ASKED….

      Reply
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      March 14, 2012 9:39 amPosted 2 years ago
      Anonymous

      yes I agree 500%% with you penny I am and will still be praying to god that they both get to be reunited again cuz this sweet baby boy or sweet babygirl deserves a chance at a loving home and life just like any other dogs and cats too we all just have to have faith and trust into the lord that they will be reunited to be together again i have all the trust and faith in the good lord up abouve that god will take care of everything and they will be reunited together forever and god will make that happen only god and forsee the future and only god knows wat to do and i have no worries because god it the ALPHA THE OMEGA THE BEGINNING AND THE END HE IS THE ONLY ONE WHO CAN REUNITE THESE TWO 2 WONDERFULL PEOPLE TOGETHER HER AND THE GERMEN SHEPARD TOO HUGS AND GOD BLESS LAURIE AND CHLOE……..

      Reply
  • March 10, 2012 8:59 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Mary

    I’m glad you guys posted this to get the word out. I saw it on fox news recently.
    I hope something can be done to help move along the process and save that baby. They deserve to spend their lives together.

    Reply
  • Visit site
    March 10, 2012 9:00 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Jackie

    Hope they’re reunited soon….

    Reply
  • March 10, 2012 9:00 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Michele

    Damn to HELL the Bureaucratic Red Tape! Bring this HERO home!

    Reply
  • March 10, 2012 9:01 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Joe

    That’s one bond NO ONE will break.

    Reply
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    March 10, 2012 9:01 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Heather

    i cant believe they will not let her have him, she should have had him when she was discharged that is crazy

    Reply
  • March 10, 2012 9:01 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Tammy

    God Bless

    Reply
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    March 10, 2012 9:02 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Debbie

    now that’s just WRONG!!! DAMN, she has to FIGHT to get the DOG that SURVIVED A ROADSIDE BOMB WITH???? WTF is going on here, just wrong……..

    Reply
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    March 10, 2012 9:02 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Debbi

    Find a loophole! Request to “foster” him while the bureaucracy grinds away!

    Reply
  • March 10, 2012 9:03 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Cindy

    Seriously, why does this always have to be so friggin hard? For the love of God, can the government ever, ever not make a mountain out of a mole hill? Bring the damn dog home, for goodness sake. Give him and his mom some well-deserved peace.

    Reply
  • March 10, 2012 9:03 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Barbara

    PRAYERS SENT FOR YOU IN THE NAME OF JESUS!!! THIS DOG BELONGS TO YOU IN JESUS NAME I PRAY AMEN AND AMEN!!!! ♥ XOXOXO

    Reply
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    March 10, 2012 9:03 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Angela

    OMG!!! they belong together!!!

    Reply
  • March 10, 2012 9:03 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Shaun

    Why can’t she adopt him? Other servicemen adopt pets from their tour. Especially the ones that helped them get thru the really tough times. Call Barack! I’m sure he’ll understand.

    Reply
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    March 10, 2012 9:04 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Lindsay

    Let her keep the dog!!! They both deserve it

    Reply
  • March 10, 2012 9:04 pmPosted 2 years ago
    April

    The 2 deserve to be together! They fought, if you will, together and the dog deserves a good life and not death for no reason!

    Reply
  • March 10, 2012 9:05 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Frank

    Can’t stand Alsatians……only dog I don’t like, but this is sad, let her adopt him FFS!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply
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    March 10, 2012 9:06 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Paul

    There is no logical reason to put down a perfectly healthy, well-trained dog when there is someone who has been through the hell these two have been through together who wants to keep him. Wise up, bureaucratic @$$ holes. You’ve already wasted more than 4 years on this.

    Reply
  • March 10, 2012 9:06 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Sonia

    Is there anything the Life With Dogs people can do ?????

    Reply
  • March 10, 2012 9:06 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Sue M.

    I don’t understand why she wouldn’t be able to adopt this dog …. what kind of red tape would prevent this? What a shame!

    Reply
  • March 10, 2012 9:07 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Sheryl

    This should be a no brainer! Why so many years? OMG! horrible. I hope she gets the dog!

    Reply
  • March 10, 2012 9:07 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Patricia

    Should there even be a question about this? Geez!

    Reply
  • March 10, 2012 9:08 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Ranger

    well at least Chucky is on the correct side of an issue for a change!!

    Reply
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    March 10, 2012 9:08 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Carol

    2 veterans.

    Reply
  • Visit site
    March 10, 2012 9:09 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Carol

    enough said.

    Reply
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    March 10, 2012 9:09 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Karen

    Wait a damn minute!! Is the unit with The Boys of 3/5??? Hey boys, make it a helping priority, dudes! Camp Pendleton boo hoos all of the time they don’t get any recognition. Well, they have our attention now. I see men get their dogs all of the time. Why not women dog handlers?

    Reply
  • March 10, 2012 9:09 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Anonymous

    We got this early this morning.. It’s wrong to keep them apart.. I know with all of us we all can make this happen.!! ~Kristie

    Reply
  • March 10, 2012 9:10 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Patricia Sparkles

    the marines have every right to put a STOP TO THIS!!! MURDER!!!!! they have the upper hand over those ANIMAL SHELTER PEOPLE!! those marines can go straight to the Authorities or just take the dog, I would. SAVE THE DOGS LIFE. HE DONT DESERVE TO DIE. PLEASE MILITARY MEN OR WOMEN, SAVE THESE ANIMALS THAT ARE PUTTING ON DEATH ROW, THIS DOG DESERVES A HOME ON THE MARINE BASE. <3

    Reply
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    March 10, 2012 9:10 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Tabitha

    Oh that poor poor woman, what a sad thing. And what a poor return for her bravery.

    Reply
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    March 10, 2012 9:11 pmPosted 2 years ago
    LIZ

    Whats the holdup???? If he wants to adopt this beautiful dog, then let him, for God sake!!!!!!!!

    Reply
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    March 10, 2012 9:11 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Rommey

    Give her friggin dog already!

    Reply
  • Visit site
    March 10, 2012 9:11 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Gloria

    She should have been given him as soon as he was retired.

    Reply
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    March 10, 2012 9:12 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Margaret

    This is sad.. Fort Bliss in El Paso Texas has band all service dogs on base. These are service dogs for our soldiers that fought in the war and have PTS and now they are banning them..

    Reply
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    March 10, 2012 9:14 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Jerry

    Breaks my heart.

    Reply
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    March 10, 2012 9:15 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Rj

    She deserves the dog more than anyone else.

    Reply
  • March 10, 2012 9:15 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Valerie

    Military needs to think that one over. No respect for anything.

    Reply
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    March 10, 2012 9:15 pmPosted 2 years ago
    David

    Wake up America! This is the government we have submitted ourselves to. A dog, a good dog!

    Reply
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    March 10, 2012 9:18 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Mary

    If they kill this dog, it will prove to me that all politicians are lying @$#!!! Give the dog to the soldier, for God’s sake!!

    Reply
  • March 10, 2012 9:21 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Becky

    Four years is a long time to lose within the lifespan of a dog.

    Reply
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    March 10, 2012 9:22 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Barbara

    Oh come on…You should definately be able to have this BEAUTIFUL DOG…whywould they”put him to sleep” when his partner loves him & WANTS him…Best of luck to both of them..Really HOPE & PRAY he gets to be with her & live a well deserved retirement :)

    Reply
  • March 10, 2012 9:22 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Katie

    It infuriates me that these dogs are almost always put down “after their service”. They are perfectly good dogs-nothing is usually wrong with them and honestly even if they did have something not quite right who cares! If ahe wants to adopt the dog she should be able to!

    Reply
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    March 10, 2012 9:22 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Teri

    Yes, military can be slow. Prayers going up for a quick adoption

    Reply
  • March 10, 2012 9:24 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Kim

    Hopefully common sense prevails and he is allowed a comfortable retirement after working tirelessly for the marines for so long. Good on her for wanting to look after her faithful partner now he can no longer work

    Reply
  • March 10, 2012 9:26 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Deanna

    THANK YOU Sen Schumer!

    Reply
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    March 10, 2012 9:28 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Judy

    Freaking Govt. Dillholes!

    Reply
  • Visit site
    March 10, 2012 9:33 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Anonymous

    Sgt. Rex is a war hero. Let him out of the cage.

    Reply
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    March 10, 2012 9:33 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Mavis

    What is WRONG with people? Why would anyone want to stop this adoption?

    Reply
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    March 10, 2012 9:37 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Philip

    would be such good PR for the Mlitary and the Government, just another reason why politics sucks at times, 2 Veteran’s who would greatly benifit for being together.

    Reply
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    March 10, 2012 9:53 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Tracy

    PETITION? CHIP IN? IS THERE ANYTHING WE CAN DO TO HELP???

    Reply
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    March 10, 2012 9:55 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Georgia Koenig

    This is UNBELIEVABLE! I understand that bureaucracy is SLOW but this precious, brave, heroic dog who nearly lost his life, along with his beloved handler, is NEARING THE END OF HIS LIFE! They don’t live as long as humans, this MUST BE UNDERSTOOD AT CAMP PENDLETON! Thank GOD for one of my most favorite Senators, Senator Charles Shumer of New York for stepping in to try and get these two war weary heroes back together! This is inexcusable, really! The dog should have been DISCHARGED AT THE SAME TIME, FOR GOODNESS SAKES! Come on U.S. Marine Corps, show what the Corps really stands for – SHOW SOME COMPASSION AND GIVE THESE 2 HEROES THE REUNION AND LIFE TOGETHER THEY BOTH HAVE EARNED, SERVING THEIR COUNTRY IN THE WAR. Send the dog home to his “Mom” NOW, TODAY!!! I cannot even BELIEVE that this poor dog has been sitting, waiting, in a kennel for nearly FIVE YEARS, while Megan, his former handler, was discharged after recovering from nearly being killed, with Rex alongside her, by the roadside bomb in 2006 – she was discharged, according to this story, in 2007, WHY NOT REX???? Five years could basically be well over HALF OF THIS DOG’S ENTIRE LIFE!!! Do you wait until he DIES, ALONE IN THAT KENNEL!!! Send him HOME TO MEGAN NOW, TODAY!!!

    Reply
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    March 10, 2012 9:55 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Jean

    he could have had a loving home for almost 5 years already!

    Reply
  • March 10, 2012 9:59 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Christine

    MOVE

    Reply
  • March 10, 2012 9:59 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Christine

    Everyone should have their dog and no dog deserves to be put down I’m mad…skip the red people, this man has a friend

    Reply
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    March 10, 2012 10:01 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Ann

    There is an organization called the Puppy Rescue Mission. They deal exclusively with bringing home dogs from the war zone. They have a page on FB.

    Reply
  • Visit site
    March 10, 2012 10:08 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Brian

    This beautiful dog served his country well. Let him have his R&R. They have both earned it. Semper Fi!

    Reply
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    March 10, 2012 10:08 pmPosted 2 years ago
    EKessen

    They have served their country above and beyond. You must do the only right and humane thing. Send Sgt.Rex home to be with Corporal Megan Leavey.

    Reply
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    March 10, 2012 10:27 pmPosted 2 years ago
    [email protected]

    Megan and Rex,

    Hi I was a Marine for 7 years and then a Police Officer for 9 years. I was a K-9 handler as a cop. I got hurt while serving as a K-9 handler for the city I worked for. I did fight for keeping my partner after my injury due to our time together. I did end up keeping my K-9 partner Nitro, after a long and ugly fight with the city. I did have to end up paying $1500.00 to keep him, but it was well worth it as I knew he was not going to be able to adjust to a new handler. Please keep up your fight if you know as I did that your partner is not going to adjust to a new handler, as I knew Nitro would not. I was able to get many donations to help cover the the money, $1500.00. the Chief of Police required for me to keep the “piece of equpiment” that “would be put down, if he din’t adjust to a new handler”. So I did win this fight as I hope you will. Actually my fight made front page headlines in my small community. I hope you and your partner will live a peaceful end as did me and Nitro who has since passed, but was able to enjoy a flipping great retirement.

    God Bless,

    Steve and Nitro

    Reply
    • March 10, 2012 10:48 pmPosted 2 years ago
      SinMN

      You sir (& Nitro) I have much admiration for and am grateful for your service as a marine & K-9 officer. I am also thankful you shared your personal story and for never giving up on your partner no matter how big the hurdles.

      Reply
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      March 11, 2012 6:32 amPosted 2 years ago
      Anonymous

      Oh how wonderful, it also says alot about you. Thank you for your love and devotion. You served your country, and also being a Police officer, this day and age, they are not appreciated. I do believe in law and order. So thank you for all your great service. My admiration goes to you. God Bless you always. Sorry though to hear about your beloved friend passing.

      Reply
  • March 10, 2012 10:38 pmPosted 2 years ago
    SinMN

    Devastating that an issue even exists here.

    Please take the time to sign the petition;
    http://www.change.org/petitions/help-sgt-rex#

    Reply
  • Visit site
    March 10, 2012 11:35 pmPosted 2 years ago
    CARA
    Reply
  • March 11, 2012 3:47 amPosted 2 years ago
    jane adams

    BRING REX HOME HES A HERO NOT A PIECE OF EQUIPMENT ,HE BELONGS WITH HER !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply
    • Visit site
      March 12, 2012 12:01 amPosted 2 years ago
      Lisa

      Jane Adams, amen!!!

      Reply
  • March 11, 2012 6:45 amPosted 2 years ago
    Ted Wright

    Seems silly to me. To have spent all that time , effort and money to heal him of his wounds…..just to kill him later! . Especially when there is a loving home being offered.
    I am from UK and the World is watching to see just how the USA treats its heroes.!

    Reply
  • Visit site
    March 11, 2012 8:17 amPosted 2 years ago
    Tracey

    I hope that this dog gets to go home. The military really needs to take better care of the animals it uses. I hope with eyes of the world watching that they start doing just that.

    Reply
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    March 11, 2012 10:14 amPosted 2 years ago
    Barbara

    Is this how we ( Americans) should Treat & Support our Returning Veterans even if they earn Medals – Just put them Down ? Our Soldiers fight & lay down their lives for our Country, they consider it a Right & priviledge to do so
    and Rex is NO different than the Soldiers who have served in the Marines, Army,Navy, Airforce and any other Branch of the Military. He Deserves to be treated with the same Respect & Honors and given the same Treatment as
    everyone else who has Faithfully Served this Country. There is Much too Much Red Tape and too Many People making wrong decisions. I Sincerely Hope that this time Rex is Returned to Megan to live out the rest of his life
    Free, Happy & Healthy with her. GOOD LUCK!

    Reply
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    March 11, 2012 10:55 amPosted 2 years ago
    Greg Matt

    I feel that this is one way that may help…

    Sir: I wanted to send you this important video.

    Mr President:
    After viewing this news video, I feel that it is the upmost importance that this Marine who was injured and her K-9 Rex should be reunited. They both served Our Country and should be allowed the Right to be together so that Rex can be with the one person that he knows and can trust. The Loyalty between a handler and K-9 knows no bounds.
    Thank you Mr President
    Greg Matt
    Kingston Wa.

    Reply
  • Visit site
    March 11, 2012 2:48 pmPosted 2 years ago
    April Wagner

    Rex needs to live out his life with his partner, Megan. How could anyone even think differently. Wake up, people and start thinking from your heart.

    Reply
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    March 11, 2012 3:36 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Lesley Dipple

    Ted Wright has said it America the world is watching. Do the right thing and let this dog end his life with some one who loves him, he didn’t choose to go to war but he still selflessly did his duty now he should get his reward.

    Reply
  • Visit site
    March 12, 2012 2:11 amPosted 2 years ago
    Debi Bel

    Has anyone taken note of the prior posts for this article? We CAN do something rather than tell each other how awful this situation is. We can call the Senator who is finally inquiring about expediting the military’s deathly slow process and we can go to a page on FB (Puppy Rescue Mission) that is organized to bring our military dogs home! Let’s DO something positive! If we each make that one phone call or that ONE letter, email, conversation….just ONE ACTION each we might see some real results. It is a fact that those who live in this country still have freedom of speech and political rights. We haven’t lost the ability to make a difference yet. If you believe in this cause, then stand up and DO SOMETHING to make your voice heard.

    Reply
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    March 12, 2012 7:00 amPosted 2 years ago
    karenc

    How about if we as american voters decide to euthanize our government workers once they reach a certain age. These dogs have been with there handlers and went through how much with them? AND our own government dont want them to stay with there handlers? I say B/S. These dogs and there handlers protect us (you and i) and they deserve to stay together. Everyone should write there senators;congressman;governor and even the president until this law is changed. These dogs and there handlers go through so much together so they should have the chance to stay together!

    Reply
  • Visit site
    March 12, 2012 2:22 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Anonymous
    Reply
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    March 13, 2012 10:59 amPosted 2 years ago
    jennifer

    I just heard from the The Barking Barracks that apparently there is precedent for this. According to this article, President George W. Bush signed into law that a solider could adopt their K9 partner if they had been injured in combat together. Interesting, this dog was named Rex also:

    http://www.dogexplorer.com/content/view/91/1/

    Reply
  • Visit site
    March 13, 2012 12:46 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Matt

    That email address is to the Lackland AFB, TX Public Affairs Office. Marine Military Working Dogs are based at Quantico, VA. I applaud your efforts but the Air Force has “no dog in this”, so the e-mails are falling upon deaf ears.

    Reply
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    March 14, 2012 3:50 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Philip Kolski

    Reunite Rex with Megan.
    Phil Kolski

    Reply
  • March 20, 2012 7:37 amPosted 2 years ago
    SinMN

    Great news!…please equate “near future” with ASAP since Sgt. Rex has limited precious time left!!!

    Reply
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    March 20, 2012 10:21 amPosted 2 years ago
    Tammy

    How soon is “near future” ??? Post details on what we can do to speed it up to “Today” !!!

    Reply
  • Visit site
    March 20, 2012 1:42 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Roger

    They should never have been seperated in the first place!!!

    Reply
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    March 20, 2012 2:35 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Karen

    I do not understand why Rex would be euthanized. There are approximately 300-400 civilians who are willing to take MWDs even with disabilities, such as myself. Shouldn’t those options be exchausted before the killing of what amounts to one of our country’s vets? Hey, anyone listening out there, I and hundreds will take disabled four legged vets. Just contact us!

    Reply
    • Visit site
      March 21, 2012 11:14 pmPosted 2 years ago
      Anonymous

      YESSSSSS! KAREN.

      Reply
  • Visit site
    January 1, 2013 8:34 pmPosted 1 year ago
    Anonymous

    What happened after 20 mar 12? Why do news events seldom finish a news worthy article with follow up stories. Inquiring minds do want to know.

    Reply
  • Visit site
    January 1, 2013 8:51 pmPosted 1 year ago
    Anonymous
    Reply

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