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      'Saving Sgt. Rex' petition urges Air Force to reunite military dog with Corporal

      A petition is circulating online, urging the U.S. Air Force to reunite Sergeant Rex, a military working dog, with his former partner, Corporal Megan Leavey, an Iraq War Veteran.

      U.S. Senator Charles Schumer (D, New York) is urging the Air Force to reunite the pair. Rex helped Corporal Leavey identify and disable roadside bombs in Iraq. The two worked together to hunt down and disarm improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

      Leavey and Rex were severely injured in 2006 when an IED exploded, forcing both of them to end their tours in Iraq and head to rehabilitation. Since returning to the U.S., Leavey has tried to adopt Sgt. Rex, but she was initially turned down in 2007 since Rex was deemed able to work. Now at 10-years-old, Rex is unable to work and will be retired from the service soon. Leavey, who currently works as a dog handler in Rockland County, is trying again to adopt Rex. "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," Schumer said. "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."

      In a letter to the Secretary of the Air Force, Senator Schumer urges him to expedite the process. He has also launched an online petition called "Saving Sgt. Rex" to garner public support. To sign the petition, click here.

      Here is a copy of the petition:

      Marine Corporal Megan Leavey, a decorated Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) veteran, served as a handler for Military Working Dog 'Sgt. Rex' during her two deployments in Iraq in 2005 and 2006. During their two deployments to Iraq, Corporal Leavey and Sgt. Rex worked together to save countless lives as they 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. Corporal Leavey was awarded the Purple Heart and a Combat Valor Medal, and the pair spent the next year recovering together from their injuries.

      While Corporal Leavey retired from the Marine Corps in 2007, Rex continued working with other members of the military, making the Iraq landscape safer for our soldiers. Now that Sgt. Rex has reached 10-years of age, he no longer is able to work in active duty and is being classified as "excess", which would allow him to be adopted and reunited into a permanent home - ideally with his former partner, Marine Corporal Leavey. While Corporal Leavey has completed the application for adoption, the application still requires additional information from the United States Airforce and has not yet been approved

      We, the undersigned Americans, urge the Department of the Air Force to immediately approve Corporal Leavey's application for adoption of her former brother-in-arms, Sgt. Rex. At ten years old, and after multiple tours of duty, time is of the essence. We implore the U.S. Air Force to expedite Corporal Leavey's application and ensure that these two war heroes are reunited so that Sgt. Rex can share the rest of his days with the one person who knows him best and is deeply bonded with him.