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:
Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, "Fatigue is the best pillow." True story, Benny. There's nothing like pushing your body so far past exhaustion that you'd willingly, even longingly, take a nap on a concrete slab.
Former President George W. Bush is calling for an end to the partial government shutdown, which is about to hit the one-month mark and is currently the longest shutdown in US history.
In an appeal made on Instagram, the 43rd president called on "leaders on both sides to put politics aside, come together, and end this shutdown." The caption was posted with an image of him and former First Lady Laura Bush giving pizza to their Secret Service detail.
Staff Sgt. Daniel Christopher Evans was arrested on Jan. 29, 2018. (Photo courtesy of Wilmington Police Department, North Carolina.)
A special operations Marine is due in court on March 7 after being arrested last year for allegedly assaulting his girlfriend, Task & Purpose has learned.
Staff Sgt. Daniel Christopher Evans was arrested and charged with assault inflicting serious injury on July 29, 2018, according to Jennifer Dandron, a spokeswoman for police in Wilmington, North Carolina. Evans is currently assigned as a Critical Skills Operator with the 2nd Marine Raider Battalion at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, according to the Marine Corps Personnel Locator.
U.S. Army 1st Lt. Elyse Ping Medvigy conducts a call-for-fire during an artillery shoot south of Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, Aug. 22, 2014. Medvigy, a fire support officer assigned to the 4th Infantry Division's Company D, 1st Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, is the first female company fire support officer to serve in an infantry brigade combat team supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Whitney Houston (Photo by U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Whitney Houston)
Following Trump's inauguration, some supporters of ground combat integration assumed he would quickly move to reinstate a ban on women in jobs like the infantry. When this did not happen, advocates breathed a collective sigh of relief, and hundreds of qualified women charted a course in history by entering the newly opened occupational fields.
So earlier this week when the Wall Street Journal published an editorial against women in ground combat by conservative political commentator Heather Mac Donald, the inclination of many ground combat integration supporters was to dismiss it outright. But given Trump's proclivity to make knee jerk policy decisions in response to falling approval ratings and the court's tradition of deference to the military when it comes to policies affecting good order and discipline, it would be unwise to assume the 2016 lifting of the ban on women in ground combat is a done deal.
R. Lee Ermey was laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery on Friday.
Best known for his iconic role as the Marine Corps drill instructor Gunnery Sgt. Hartman in the war drama Full Metal Jacket, Ermey died April 15, 2018 at age 74 due to complications from pneumonia, Task & Purpose previously reported.