Marine and her bomb-sniffing dog honored

Associated Press Modified: May 13, 2012 at 6:16 pm •  Published: May 13, 2012

NEW YORK (AP) — Through two tours of duty in Iraq Sgt. Rex was by Marine Cpl. Megan Leavey's side.

The pair worked more than 100 missions searching for roadside bombs, were injured in the line of duty and went through physical therapy together.

When her military career ended, she felt the least she could do was adopt him.

"This dog has saved my life," Leavey said.

After five years of waiting for Rex's service to end and filling out paperwork, Leavey finally won approval to bring the 11-year-old German Shepherd home. Yankees president Randy Levine and his wife Mindy helped make that reunion more comfortable and the team honored the pair before the Yankees hosted the Seattle Mariners on Sunday.

Nick Swisher presented Leavey with a jersey autographed by all the Yankees, and Alex Rodriguez gave her a heart-shaped charm from Tiffany & Co with "Rex" written on it — but not before A-Rod leapt back when Rex jumped in front of Leavey. Also, the team, with assistance from the Wounded Warrior Foundation, helped the Marines replace her Purple Heart medal, which was stolen during her rehab.

Rex has a higher rank than Leavey because she said, the dogs do the work.

Protective of his handler, Rex stayed next Leavey's feet, barking now and then — perhaps objecting to the questions — throughout a pregame interview. It was very different from the last time they worked together.

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