New York Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer launched an online petition this week to encourage the Air Force to reunite a military working dog with its former partner.
The canine, Sergent Rex, worked with Iraq War veteran Corporal Megan Leavey to identify and disarm roadside bombs in Iraq. Their tour ended when both were severely injured by an IED in 2006. Leavey was awarded the Purple Heart and a Combat Valor Medal.
She has been trying to adopt Rex since returning, but was turned down in 2007 because the dog was still able to work. Rex, however, is now 10 years old and soon to be retired — and Leavey, currently working as a dog handler in Rockland County, N.Y., is once again attempting to adopt him.
According to Schumer’s office, however, Leavey’s efforts have become bogged down in bureaucratic red tape.
Schumer wrote to Air Force Secretary Michael B. Donley last week encouraging him to hasten the process, and this week initiated a petition.
“The story of Marine Corporal Leavey and Sergeant Rex is inspiring a nation, and it’s vital that the United States Air Force move as quickly as possible to reunite Sgt. Rex with his former partner,” said Schumer.
“The ‘Saving Sgt. Rex’ petition will bolster the effort to bring attention to this worthwhile cause, and I am urging all Americans to sign-up and show their support; we asked a lot more of Corporal Leavey and Sgt. Rex, who put their lives on the line for us time-and-again – reuniting them now is the least we can do.”
The petition for Leavey is currently hosted on Schumer’s Senate Web page. It already has over 10,800 signatures.