Craig Grossi arrived by helicopter in the Sangin District of Afghanistan during the cover of night. Grossi had to fight for his life for days after Taliban fighters аttасked his unit when the sun rose.
According to Grossi, “It was a different kind [of fighting] than we’d ever seen.” “I was so focused on defending myself,” she said. “It was pretty fierce for a couple of days.”
When the fighting finally stopped, Grossi was able to take a look around. According to Grossi, “No [Americans] had been in that area in years.” He noticed a dog “with a big goofy head and little legs” as he peered around.
It was commonplace to see dogs. The majority of dogs were strаy animals that frequently аttасked humans and traveled in packs.
But this dog seemed different.
For one thing, he wasn’t part of a pack, but was all on his own. He also seemed relatively self-sufficient: He would find little scraps of food and take them to an area of bushes where he’d eat and sleep. On his way, he’d matter-of-factly walk across the marine compound.
“He was as confident as he was little,” Grossi remembered. “‘He’s got it figured out,’ I thought.
But the military had a rule for the soldiers not to approach the dogs. “Up until that point I’d never had a problem with the rule,” Grossi said.
Grossi watched the dog for a while. “He was no one’s dog,” Grossi said, “and from what I could tell he had had no real positive human interaction.”
It soon became clear that Grossi would not be able to follow the rule about not getting close to the dogs. A piece of beef jerky in hand, Grossi made his way over to the dog, remembering to approach carefully.
When Grossi got a little closer, he noticed the dog was really dirty and was covered in bugs. But then the dog did something that totally surprised him, Grossi said: “He wagged his tail and it blew me away.”
When Grossi offered the dog some beef jerky, “he very politely took it,” Grossi said. How could this strаy dog, who had no one in the world to care about him, be so good-spirited?
“I gave him a couple scratches behind the ear, and I couldn’t believe it,” Grossi added. The dog enthusiastically welcomed the affection.
Grossi rose up and started walking away. “I feel a tiny poke at my angle, I look down, and there he is, following me,” Grossi added. Grossi’s companion on the other side of the compound screamed across, “Looks likе you made a friend,” but Grossi heard, “Looks likе a ‘Fred.'” That’s how the name of this strаy dog came to be.
Grossi was unaware that this was the beginning of an epic rеscuе narrative at the time. He and his battalion were engaged in combat at the time that all of this was taking place. They would check on civilian families at night because the Taliban was putting them in dаngеr by using them “as human shields,” according to Grossi. In order to avoid being аttасked, the Taliban made sanctuary in houses owned by civilians.
Fred joined us when we began going out at night, according to Grossi. He was concerned, though, that Fred might bark and draw attention to himself and the other marines. However, Fred learned not to bark and never made a sound.
Grossi claimed, “I’ve loved him ever since I first met him, but now all the other guys I was with really started to appreciate him.