U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer announced Monday night that the United States Air Force has cleared for adoption and reunification with retired Marine Corps veteran Corporal Megan Leavey of Valley Cottage. The pair worked together in Iraq, hunting down and disarming improvised explosive devices (IEDs).
Schumer had interceded on behalf of Leavey to secure an agreement from the Air Force and Marines for her to adopt Sgt. Rex. His efforts included launching an online petition that obtained 20,000 signatures. The Air Force has signed off on the adoption and the Marine Corps are now concluding the necessary paperwork.
“We salute the Air Force and the Marines for doing the right thing and allowing Rex to be with Corporal Leavey. One canine, one human, both heroes. They should be united shortly and we’re glad it’s happening,” said Schumer.
He thanked the thousands of people who signed the online petition, “Saving Sgt. Rex,” and supported the adoption.
“Rex and I went through a great deal together and I am just so grateful that we will be reunited again,” said 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.
Leavey expressed gratitude to the Marine Corps and the Air Force for reuniting her with Rex.
During their two deployments to Iraq, Leavey and Sgt. Rex worked together and scoured the war’s most dangerous regions, uncovering deadly explosives, IEDs, weapons caches and suicide bombers. Both were severely injured in 2006 when insurgents detonated an IED at the side of the road they were patrolling.
Leavey was awarded the Purple Heart and a Combat Valor Medal, and the pair spent the next year recovering together from their injuries. She retired from the Marine Corps in 2007, while Rex continued working with other members of the military. Leavey had attempted to adopt Sgt. Rex in 2007, but she was turned down since he was still able to work. But once Sgt. Rex turned 10 years old, he was considered unable to work and was retired from service. At that time, Leavey renewed her efforts to adopt Rex, who is reported to be in declining health.
The Air Force signed off on its recommendation for the adoption and Rex will be reunited with Leavey, once he recovers from his final physical, Leavey signs her release and the Marine Corps removes Rex from its property records.