Fallen Marine's Dog Heading Home to His Family
Lex didn't want to leave dead buddy
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Dec 21, 2007 2:36 PM CST
A US Marine Corps honor guard and a loyal dog await the start of the funeral for Marine Cpl. Dustin Jerome Lee in Quitman, Miss. Lee died March 21, 2007, from wounds received during a mortar attack in...   (Associated Press)
camera-icon View 4 more images

(Newser) – Paramedics had to drag Lex the German shepherd away from the body of Cpl. Dustin Lee when the 20-year-old Marine from Mississippi was killed in a March mortar attack in Fallujah. Now Lex is back in the States and heading for retirement with Lee's family. “Lex was my son’s partner; he was his best friend,” said his dad, Jerome. “He was next to him. He was the last one to see him alive.”

The reassignment wasn't easy: The 8-year-old bomb-sniffing dog, who was also wounded in the mortar attack, was 2 years from retirement age. But Lee's family persisted, and the dog is en route to Mississippi today. "He's been through a lot," said Jerome Lee. "We just want to get Lex home to our family, and let him have a happy life."