WASHINGTON – Severely injured when her Humvee was bombed in Iraq, Air Force Tech Sgt. Jamie Dana awoke in a military hospital and cried out for Rex, her bomb-sniffing dog.
Rex was dead, she was told. Later, Dana found out that wasn't true. But her joy turned to sadness when she was told she couldn't adopt the German shepherd.
Now, under a compromise announced Thursday between House-Senate negotiators, it appears that Rex will join Dana on her Pennsylvania farm, where she is recovering from a bombing this summer in Iraq that destroyed her Humvee and burned Rex.
"I just feel overwhelmed," said Dana, who plans to become a veterinarian.
The Air Force had said it spent $18,000 training Rex and that by statute, he needed to finish the remaining five years of his useful life before he could be adopted.
The effort to adopt Rex was accelerated by Dana's congressman, Rep. John Peterson, R-Pa.
"I can see so much therapy in having her friend Rex there to heal with her," Peterson said.
A final vote on the bill could come next week.