New Iraq War Film Focuses On Fierce Bond Between Marine And Her Working Dog

Entertainment
Kate Mara as Megan Leavey
Screen grab via YouTube

Fans of movies about the Global War on Terror are in luck. At least five big-budget war films set in either Iraq or Afghanistan (or, in the case of “Mine,” some nondescript desert in the Middle East) will premiere in the U.S. in the next several months. But only one, “Megan Leavey,” features a female lead — and it’s the only one that  shares a name with a real-life service member.


Cpl. Megan Leavey, a Marine dog handler, was deployed twice to Iraq with the same military working dog, a bomb-sniffing German Shepherd named Sgt. Rex. During the duo’s second deployment, to Ramadi in 2006, both Leavey and Rex  were wounded by an IED.

Scene from "Megan Leavey"Screen grab via YouTube

But the drama didn’t end there. After Leavey left the Corps in 2008, she spent the next several years fighting to adopt Rex. The Corps resisted — asserting that, despite his injuries, Rex was still fit to remain in the military — and it wasn’t until 2012, after Leavey convinced Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York to intervene on her behalf, that the duo was finally reunited. Rex died of facial palsy that same year.

Leavey is played by the talented Kate Mara  of “House of Cards” fame, but the film’s biggest draw will surely be its central theme: the fierce bond that military dog handlers develop with their K9s. In recent years, the country’s heard several other stories of handlers fighting to reunite with the dogs they went to war with. Not all of them won that fight, but Leavey’s campaign to adopt Rex paved the way for the passage of a 2016 bill that mandates handlers be given first rights of adoption after their dog partners retire from service. To many people, Leavey is a hero both on and off the battlefield — and there are plenty of dogs who’d probably agree.

Check out the trailer for the film, which premieres in June:

(U.S. Army/Staff Sgt. Jamarius Fortson)

The Navy has identified the two Defense Department civilians who were killed in a shooting Wednesday at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard in Hawaii.

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(U.S. Navy photo)

A shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola in Florida has left four people dead, including the gunman, law enforcement officials said at a Friday news conference.

The shooter and two victims were killed at the base and another victim died after being taken to the hospital, said Chip Simmons, deputy chief of the Escambia County Sheriff's Office.

Another seven people remain hospitalized, including two sheriff's deputies who engaged the gunman, Simmons said at Friday's news conference. One was hit in the arm and the other was shot in the knee. Both are expected to recover.

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Widespread sexism and gender bias in the Marine Corps hasn't stopped hundreds of female Marines from striving for the branch's most dangerous, respected and selective jobs.

Six years after the Pentagon officially opened combat roles to women in 2013, 613 female Marines and sailors now serve in them, according to new data released by the Marine Corps.

"Females are now represented in every previously-restricted occupational field," reads a powerpoint released this month on the Marine Corps Integration Implementation Plan (MCIIP), which notes that 60% of those female Marines and sailors now serving in previously-restricted units joined those units in the past year.

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Sailors aboard the Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS Columbia (SSN 771) prepare to moor at the historic submarine piers at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam following a six-month Western Pacific deployment, June 6, 2018. (U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Michael H. Lee)

The troubled 22-year-old Pearl Harbor sailor identified as shooting three shipyard workers Wednesday and then killing himself may have come from a troubled ship.

Gabriel Romero, a sailor on the submarine USS Columbia, fatally shot two civilian workers and wounded a third while the Los Angeles-class vessel is in Dry Dock 2 for a two-year overhaul, according to The Associated Press and other sources.

Romero "opened fire on shipyard personnel with his M-4 service rifle and then turned his M9 service pistol on himself," Fox News Pentagon reporter Lucas Tomlinson reported, citing a preliminary incident report.

Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam was not able to provide information Thursday on a report that multiple suicides have occurred on the Columbia.

Hawaii News Now said Romero was undergoing disciplinary review and was enrolled in anger management classes.

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The aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy arrives for exercises at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida, U.S. March 17, 2004. Picture taken March 17, 2004. (U.S. Navy/Patrick Nichols via Reuters)

(Reuters) - A member of the Saudi Air Force visiting the United States for military training was the suspect in a shooting that killed four people and injured eight at a U.S. Navy base in Florida on Friday, the state governor and other officials said.

The shooter was killed by sheriff's deputies responding to the dawn incident at Naval Air Station Pensacola, the Navy and local sheriff's office said, the second deadly shooting at a U.S. military installation this week.

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