A U.S. military dog whose handler and best friend was killed in Iraq gets a new assignment on Friday — retirement with the late Marine’s family.
It took months of lobbying by the family to get the adoption approved by the military.
Lex was beside Cpl. Dustin Lee when Lee was killed in a mortar attack in Falluja.
In spite of his injuries, the dog didn’t want to leave Lee’s side after the attack, according to the Marine’s father. Other Marines reportedly had to pull the dog away from the young man’s body so medics could reach him.
Lex attended Lee’s funeral in March, playing games with the 20-year-old Marine’s younger brother on the sidelines.
Although some shrapnel remains in his body, Lex recovered from his wounds and returned to duty at the Marine Corps Logistics Base in Albany, Georgia.
Friday, he’ll move to Lee’s family home in Quitman, Mississippi, where the 8-year-old bomb-sniffing German shepherd will live out the rest of his life.
Jerome Lee, the late Marine’s father, lobbied hard for months to adopt the dog. Marine officials initially told Lee that it would be no problem to get the dog. But persuading the service to give up Lex before the dog’s mandatory retirement at age 10 proved to be a challenge.