Retired Marine Corporal of Valley Cottage got her wish and has been reunited with her military working dog partner, Sgt. Rex. The reunion took place in California according to Jerry Donnellan, director of Rockland County’s Veterans Service Agency. The pair had worked together in Iraq and tracked and disarmed IEDs until they were both seriously injured.
Donnellan has been in contact with Leavey who he said was thrilled with Sgt. Rex’s reaction upon seeing her.
“It was like they just picked up where they left off, like it was yesterday,” he said.
Donnellan said all is going smoothly.
“They’re back together,” he said. “They will be returning home soon. “
Leavey’s effort to adopt Sgt. Rex garnered national attention when US Senator Charles Schumer stepped in to assist. He launched an online petition, Saving Sgt. Rex, and sent a letter to the Air Force on her behalf to expedite the process.
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.