“Megan Leavey”- A Tale of Two Heroes


Debbie Gregory.

A new film starring Kate Mara is sure to bring military supporters and animals lovers to local movie theaters.

Megan Leavey is the true story of Marine Megan Leavey and her four-legged German Shepherd, a bomb-sniffing canine named Rex.

Leavey, a former standout softball player during high school, tried college for a brief period before deciding to enlist in the Marines in 2003.

Leavey’s parents were less than thrilled with their daughter’s decision to enlist in the Marines. Bill and Ellyn Leavey tried to talk their only child out of it. Megan told them that she had to commit herself to something that she couldn’t quit, something that would help her see what she’s made of.

“September 11th is the main reason I joined,” she said.

Leavey had gone to Parris Island for basic training and enrolled to become part of the military police, applying to the K-9 unit, where she was partnered with Rex.

Leavey and the military bomb-sniffing dog Rex served two tours together. In 2005, they were deployed to Fallujah for seven months and then to Ramadi in 2006. It was during the second deployment that they were both badly injured by a makeshift explosive device.

Rex was wounded in the shoulder, and Leavey’s eardrum exploded. She also suffered a traumatic brain injury and spent nearly a year recovering and rehabilitating with Rex, eventually leaving the military when her commitment was up at the end of 2007.

In all, they served for nearly three years at each other’s side and completed more than 100 missions.

Leavey first sought to adopt Rex after the bomb blast. Later, when Rex developed facial palsy that ended his bomb-sniffing duties, Leavey petitioned the Marine Corps for his adoption. They were reunited in 2012 through the intervention of Senator Chuck Schumer.

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