Dog#9: Lex, the German Shepherd
Just 5 months after being stationed in Fallujah, Iraq, Marine Dustin Lee and his trained canine companion, Lex, encountered a rocket attack which was fatal for Dustin. Lex, although injured by shards and shrapnel, survived the attack. The faithful dog, reportedly, had to be forcibly dragged from his owner’s side so that paramedics could inspect the young Marine. In his youth, Dustin Lee was described as an animal lover and owned many childhood dogs as well as rode horses.
In the military, Dustin was as a soldier but also a dog-trainer, roles that eventually gave him title of kennel master while on base in Albany, Georgia before his deployment. While he loved training all canines, his bond with Lex was impenetrable. After his death, his ailing family pleaded with the U.S. Marine Corps to retire bomb-sniffing canine soldier, Lex, so that they could adopt the dog. After months of conversation and paperwork, Lex became the first working military dog to receive early retirement to be adopted by the surviving family of a lost Marine and keeping his title of one of the most famous dogs in history.