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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:
The Pentagon has identified the two soldiers were killed in combat in Afghanistan on Wednesday as members of U.S. Army Special Forces.
Master Sgt. Luis F. DeLeon-Figueroa, 31, and Master Sgt. Jose J. Gonzalez, 35, both died in Faryab Province from wounds sustained from small arms fire, the Pentagon said in a press release. The incident is under investigation.
JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hinted on Thursday of possible Israeli involvement in attacks against Iranian-linked targets in Iraq.
A series of blasts in the past few weeks have hit weapon depots and bases belonging to paramilitary groups in Iraq, many of them backed by Israel's regional foe Iran. The groups blamed the United States and Israel for the blasts on Wednesday.
President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Wednesday that will make it easier for permanently disabled veterans to have their student loan debt forgiven.
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Navy Secretary Richard Spencer has expanded a review of the Judge Advocate General Corps to include the Marine Corps, a Navy spokesman said on Thursday.
"There is value in applying this review and its subsequent recommendations across the Department of the Navy," Cmdr. Jereal Dorsey told Task & Purpose. "The review's purpose is to confirm the uniformed legal community is structurally and organizationally sound and best supporting the good order and discipline our integrated naval force."