Friday, December 21, 2007

Marine War Dog Lex Goes Home - Finally!

(Marine Cpl. Dustin Lee and Lex)

He took more than a bullet for his country, Lex the Marine Military Dog found mines and IEDs for the unit he was attached to. He was attached to someone else as well. Cpl. Dustin (Dusty) Lee was killed in service in March 2007 while he and Lex were working together. Lee's body was returned to his home in Mississippi, but Lex was forced to stay behind and serve his mandatory contract with the unit. Lee's father and family protested the arrangement, asking specifically for Lex to be allowed to retire a hero and to live the rest of his life with them. Lex is eight years old, and his mandatory stay included approximately two more years of service.

When Lee's body was recovered the medical team was unable to fully retrieve him without first asking Lex's permission to do so. Like any good Marine, Lex refused to allow the body of his owner/friend to be molested. When Lex was satisfied that the medics were on their side, he relented and said good bye to his best friend Dusty. Lex was also allowed to fly back to Mississippi for the funeral, where he honored his partner by playing tug-o-war with his siblings and sat at full attention during most of the proceedings. The family fell in love immediately, and knew Lex belonged with them.

It nearly took an act of Congress, but after eight hard months of words, papers, filings, and testimonials, Lex the War Hero Canine is being retired today, and will be serving the rest of his days with the Lee family as part of that legacy. Hooah! Rest in greater peace Dusty, you have a great warrior protecting your family tonight.
I want to personally thank the Corp and the Air Force for their joint effort in allowing this adoption to take place.

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