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While deployed in Afghanistan with the Marines, Sgt. Craig Grossi crossed paths with Fred, a "goofy-looking" dog who would ultimately change his life.
He met Fred in Helmand Province in 2010, after fighting the Taliban for a week straight. Fred was covered in bugs and his fur was matted, but as Grossi approached him, "he started to wag his tail, and that really just froze me, because that is the last thing I thought he would do," Grossi told People. He knew this dog was special, and wanted to rescue him from his harsh environment, so Grossi came up with a plan that involved sneaking him onto a helicopter and then hiding him on base until he could send Fred to the United States. "That was all I wanted, because I wasn't sure if I would make it back or not," Grossi said.
Both of them made it home safely, and while attending Georgetown University, Grossi decided to turn the story of Fred's amazing journey into a book. Craig & Fred: A Marine, A Stray Dog, and How They Rescued Each Other is out now, and Grossi hopes it inspires people to be "stubbornly positive." They live in Maine, and Fred is enjoying his book tour, Grossi said — especially getting to stay in hotel rooms every night.