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New Iraq War Film Focuses On Fierce Bond Between Marine And Her Working Dog
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:
MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico has deployed almost 15,000 soldiers and National Guard in the north of the country to stem the flow of illegal immigration across the border into the United States, the head of the Mexican Army said on Monday.
Mexico has not traditionally used security forces to stop undocumented foreign citizens leaving the country for the United States, and photographs of militarized police catching Central American and Cuban women at the border in recent days have met with criticism.
Mexico is trying to curb a surge of migrants from third countries crossing its territory in order to reach the United States, under the threat of tariffs on its exports by U.S. President Donald Trump, who has made tightening border security a priority.
Packages containing suspected heroin were found in the home of the driver charged with killing seven motorcyclists Friday in the North Country, authorities said Monday.
Massachusetts State Police said the packages were discovered when its Violent Fugitive Apprehension Section and New Hampshire State police arrested Volodymyr Zhukovskyy, 23, at his West Springfield home. The packages will be tested for heroin, they said.
Zhukovskyy faces seven counts of negligent homicide in connection with the North Country crash on Friday evening that killed seven riders associated with Jarhead Motorcycle Club, a club for Marines and select Navy corpsmen.
'It just happened' — the Iraq War’s first living Medal of Honor recipient recalls his harrowing fight against 5 insurgents
On Nov, 10, 2004, Army Staff Sgt. David Bellavia knew that he stood a good chance of dying as he tried to save his squad.
Bellavia survived the intense enemy fire and went on to single-handedly kill five insurgents as he cleared a three-story house in Fallujah during the iconic battle for the city. For his bravery that day, President Trump will present Bellavia with the Medal of Honor on Tuesday, making him the first living Iraq war veteran to receive the award.
In an interview with Task & Purpose, Bellavia recalled that the house where he fought insurgents was dark and filled with putrid water that flowed from broken pipes. The battle itself was an assault on his senses: The stench from the water, the darkness inside the home, and the sounds of footsteps that seemed to envelope him.
With the Imperial Japanese Army hot on his heels, Oscar Leonard says he barely slipped away from getting caught in the grueling Bataan Death March in 1942 by jumping into a choppy bay in the dark of the night, clinging to a log and paddling to the Allied-fortified island of Corregidor.
After many weeks of fighting there and at Mindanao, he was finally captured by the Japanese and spent the next several years languishing under brutal conditions in Filipino and Japanese World War II POW camps.
Now, having just turned 100 years old, the Antioch resident has been recognized for his 42-month ordeal as a prisoner of war, thanks to the efforts of his friends at the Brentwood VFW Post #10789 and Congressman Jerry McNerney.
McNerney, Brentwood VFW Commander Steve Todd and Junior Vice Commander John Bradley helped obtain a POW award after doing research and requesting records to surprise Leonard during a birthday party last month.
Hundreds of Marines will join their British counterparts at a massive urban training center this summer that will test the leathernecks' ability to fight a tech-savvy enemy in a crowded city filled with innocent civilians.
The North Carolina-based Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 8th Marines, will test drones, robots and other high-tech equipment at Muscatatuck Urban Training Center near Butlerville, Indiana, in August.
They'll spend weeks weaving through underground tunnels and simulating fires in a mock packed downtown city center. They'll also face off against their peers, who will be equipped with off-the-shelf drones and other gadgets the enemy is now easily able to bring to the fight.
It's the start of a four-year effort, known as Project Metropolis, that leaders say will transform the way Marines train for urban battles. The effort is being led by the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory, based in Quantico, Virginia. It comes after service leaders identified a troubling problem following nearly two decades of war in the Middle East: adversaries have been studying their tactics and weaknesses, and now they know how to exploit them.