The New York Yankees honored retired Camp Pendleton combat dog Sgt. Rex and his former handler, retired Marine Cpl. Megan Leavey, before Sunday's game against the Seattle Mariners. Cpl. Leavey, a New York resident, adopted Sgt. Rex in April.
Sgt. Rex and Cpl. Leavey served together in the Iraq War. In 2006, the duo was badly injured by an IED blast. After recovering from his wounds, Sgt. Rex went to work for the Marine Corps at Camp Pendleton and was never deployed again. Leavey retired from the Corps.
When Leavey learned Sgt. Rex was to be retired from the service, she worried he might be euthanized if someone didn't step forward to adopt him. She wanted to be that someone.
The New York Times reports Yankees' owner Randy Levine and his wife Mindy paid for Leavey to travel out to Camp Pendleton to pick up Sgt. Rex after his retirement. Mindy Levine told the Times:
“It’s an honor to know Megan."
It turns out Sgt. Rex has something in common with my husband. Neither is a big fan of Alex Rodriguez. According to the Associated Press, Sgt. Rex protectively jumped in front of Leavey when Rodriguez approached her with a gift - a heart-shaped charm from Tiffany & Co with ''Rex'' written on it.
Click here to watch video of the ceremony, courtesy of MLB.com. I'm sorry, but if the NYPD bagpipers playing The Marine's Hymn for Sgt. Rex and Cpl. Leavey doesn't give you chills, I don't know what will. But then again, I'm a sucker for bagpipes.