Marine Breaks Rules To Rescue Stray Dog Overseas, Dog Returns The Favor When He’s Back Home

Sgt. Craig Grossi knew that if he were caught with a stray dog back on camp, the dog would be put down. But the Marine knew he couldn’t leave the pup behind.

Grossi was deployed to a remote region of Afghanistan, and in 2010, he was in the middle of his eight-years with the Marine Corps. Grossi provided intelligence work for the military and found a stray dog in the area while walking the grounds.

Grossi knew the strict rules about having four-legged friends on camp, but there was something about this dog that caught his attention. He approached the lone dog with a piece of beef jerky, and the dog’s tail began to wag.

Source: Craig Rossi via Facebook

“As I got a little closer, he started to wag his tail,” Grossi said on TODAY. “It was the last thing I was expecting this dog to do, was wag his tail at somebody he’d never met.”

The Marine named the dog “Fred” after mishearing someone say he looked like a new “friend.”

The friendly dog followed Grossi back to camp and Fred accompanied Grossi on covert night patrols. Never once would he bark or make any noise. Fred was a good obedient boy. However, due to the “no dogs” policy, Grossi’s comrades didn’t want Fred in the compound. Despite some of the other Marine’s disapproval, he wasn’t going to abandon Fred.

“I’m not the only one that felt that way,” he said. “Everybody that was with me in the field could see it. And we knew that there are some rules that were meant to be broken.”

Source: Craig Grossi via Facebook

Grossi decided to secretly get Fred back to the U.S. while he finished his tour in Afghanistan.

The compassionate Marine ended up smuggling Fred in a duffel bag into the heavily-secured Camp Leatherneck. He worked with a group of DHL workers and a sympathetic veterinarian to help get the dog shipped to the U.S. Once Grossi returned home; he was welcomed home with the greeting of a lifetime.

“I just lay there and just let him go crazy, and lickin’ my face,” Grossi said. “That was a really special moment.”

Source: Craig Grossi via Facebook

Grossi suffered a traumatic brain injury from when a Taliban rocket hit his compound. He also lost a close friend who was killed by an IED. Fred quickly became his source of comfort.

While dealing with his own injury and mourning the loss of Gunnery Sergeant Justin Schmalstieg, Grossi also suffered from nightmares and PTSD. He was finding it difficult to open up and talk to anyone about his experiences, but with Fred by his side, he felt more comfortable.

“(People would ask) what kind of dog is that?” Grossi said. “It was an opportunity for me to talk about Afghanistan.”

Grossi is now living near Portland, Maine with his girlfriend, Nora, her dog, Ruby, and, course, Fred. He now spends his time telling his story and speaking with others who are dealing with PTSD.

Source: Craig Grossi via Facebook

“It’s a painful story, but it’s an important story,” Grossi said. “The more I share it, the more other people will hopefully share theirs.”

Grossi now credits Fred with saving his life and making it so much richer. Craig’s memoir is titled, “Craig & Fred: A Marine, a Stray Dog, and How They Rescued Each Other.”

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Source: TODAY

5 thoughts on “Marine Breaks Rules To Rescue Stray Dog Overseas, Dog Returns The Favor When He’s Back Home

  1. Hope the two of you and your extended family have a great joyful long life together. Fantastic everything turned out so great. You both look so happy and great. Glad your buddies stood by and helped you get him back to a wonderful life for both of you. Thank you for your service God Bless and keep you both safe

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