Portland, Maine (News Center) - A Marine from Maine met an unlikely friend in a stray dog while serving in Afghanistan that would change his life.
Mainer and Marine Sgt. Craig Grossi was on the Today Show Tuesday to share his story.
WATCH: Try not to cry watching this emotional journey of a dog and his Marine from Afghanistan to the US pic.twitter.com/5vyNh0OrzE— TODAY (@TODAYshow) December 5, 2017
In 2010, Grossi was gathering intelligence for marine recon in a remote part of Afghanistan called Sangin. Craig and fellow Marines were constantly being attacked by the Taliban on almost a daily basis.
One day, Grossi says he met a plucky, little stray dog that began to follow him everywhere he went; back to the compound and eventually on night patrols.
Grossi said Fred figured out when the Marines were quiet, he should be quiet, even if other dogs were barking.
The Marines have a strict no dogs policy in Afghanistan and if caught with a dog, it would be euthanized. Grossi said he and others that knew Fred, knew he was different. Grossi said he knew some rules were meant to be broken.
Craig smuggled Fred across the border in his duffle bag and was eventually able to get Fred to America where the two were reunited.
Grossi lost his closet friend from an IED while in Afghanistan and suffered a traumatic brain injury. When Grossi returned home to Maine, he began to suffer from PTSD but says Fred has been a way for him to cope and talk to others about his experience.
Grossi now travels the country with Fred sharing his story of PTSD and rebuilding