A dog adopted by a 60-year-old Army major who was killed last month in Basra, Iraq, will have a home in Michigan.

After Maj. Steve Hutchison was killed on May 10, the saga of his “illegal” adoption of the stray dog he named Princess Leia became one of the fondest stories told by members of his unit.

In their telling, Hutchison signed a memo authorizing the dog as a member of the unit, which trains Iraqi border security officials. But even when that got him in trouble with his bosses, Hutchison didn’t give up.

Troops are not allowed to adopt animals, but many do so anyway.

Now, according to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals International’s Operation Baghdad Pups, Leia will have a home with some of Hutchison’s friends in Michigan. Leia will be taken to Baghdad airport by a contractor, then flown to the States with three other dogs, according to SPCA officials.

The group has sent more than 140 pets to the United States. Officials say about 50 troops are on the waiting list for similar help, which can cost up to $4,000 and is funded in part by donations.

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