When Craig Grossi was shipped off to Afghanistan back in 2003, he wasn’t expecting to make a new best friend. But that’s exactly what happened.
Grossi was part of an elite Marine team, sent in to fight back the Taliban soldiers. His mission was dangerous and he risked his life every single day.
After successfully forcing the Taliban soldiers back, Grossi and his team finally had some time to explore a little.
The marine then made a surprising discovery. He spotted a white dog with “a big goofy head and little legs”. In war-ridden countries like Afghanistan, it’s pretty common to spot stray dogs like this. Most of the time, these animals live in packs and are often stressed or terrified whenever humans come near.
This little guy was different. He was going it alone, sniffing out bits of food and trying to survive. Grossi liked the look of the dog. He knew that military personnel weren’t allowed to approach stray dogs, but he simply couldn’t resist.
Grossi got a piece of beef jerky and approached the animal. He quickly noticed that the dog wasn’t in a great state; his fur was dirty and riddled with insects.
Grossi was cautious as he drew closer to the animal. He knew that some stray dogs could be incredibly violent, and he didn’t know what to expect. However, he soon realized he had no reason to worry, as the dog started to wag his tail and sniff the jerky.
The little pooch lapped up the jerky and seemed happy as Grossi scratched his head.
The marine then got up to leave and felt a little tap on his ankle. He looked down and saw that the dog was following him.
One of Grossi’s marine pals saw the scene and shouted, “Looks like you made a friend.”
To Grossi, though, the shout sounded like “Looks like a Fred.”
And so the dog was named Fred.
And from that moment on, Fred refused to leave Grossi alone.
When the marine and his team went out to check on local families, Fred would always be there. Some of the soldiers were worried that Fred might give their position away to the enemy, but the dog was smart. He stayed silent and followed his friends in the shadows, just like a real marine.
“I loved him from the first moment I met him,” Grossi said. “But now all the other guys I was with really started to appreciate him.”
Everyone was getting on well with Fred, but then the time come to say goodbye. Grossi and his team were being shipped out to another part of the country.
Grossi couldn’t bear to leave his canine pal, but he didn’t know how to solve this problem.
He asked Fred for a sign.
One day later, a helicopter arrived to take the marines to their next location. Grossi was getting ready to climb aboard, when he felt a little tap on his ankle. He looked down and there was Fred.
Grossi and his friends knew that smuggling a dog along for the trip was risky, but they decided to do it anyway. Fred was placed into a big duffel bag and secretly transported with the team.
When they got to the new base, Grossi handed Fred over to some DHL shipping workers, who agreed to look after the animal until Grossi could return for him.
Grossi planned to get Fred shipped to his parents’ home in America, but he never managed to fill out the paperwork in time. Then, he was struck by an explosion and sent to recover in hospital. But even then, he couldn’t stop thinking and worrying about his canine companion.
Grossi was eventually discharged from hospital and rushed straight to the DHL area to find Fred. He was still there, playing with some of the workers.
Finally, Grossi was able to finish off the paperwork and prepare Fred for his voyage to the U.S.
A few months later, Grossi was also able to go home.
Last year, Grossi and Fred went on an 8-week road trip, with the former marine sharing images of their journey on Instagram.
These two buddies are now inseparable.