Former local marine Carlos Plata spent two deployments with Shaun Duling.
This last time Shaun went to Afghanistan by himself. But as soon as he stepped foot on foreign soil a special friendship was formed.
"He became his family there."
A ragged and hungry stray, bolt and Shaun were instant friends.
He fed Bolt, built him a home and even let him stay in his tent during the winter. In return Bolt gave Shaun an escape from the harsh days in Afghanistan.
"He kinda took to me and since I got there everywhere I went he was pretty much by my side or behind me"
But then the commander of the base ordered all the dogs to be removed, Shaun was forced to say goodbye.
"I made a collar for him so I took his collar off. I wanted to have his collar to hold on to as a memento."
Bolt was loaded up with the others and taken to a village, but even distance could not break their bond.
"Bolt apparently ran behind the convoy for roughly ten miles or so. Pitch black, three o'clock in the morning and all of a sudden just out of no where bolt just comes running full speed behind me scared me half to death. It was a good feeling having your buddy back and so it's an awesome feeling."
But the time came when Shaun had to come home, and Bolt would have to stay.
"As I was walking to the helicopter I tried to get some of the the guys to hold on to him, he broke free and he tried to jump on the helo with me and I think he knew I was leaving and leaving for good. He just looked sad and confused and i was just like that can't be the last time I see him."
Immediately an effort was started to bring Bolt to the U.S. so he could always be by Shaun's side.
And that effort was a success, thanks to the website www.nowzad.com.
Duling's raised the $4,000 he needed to bring Bolt stateside.
He expects to bring his buddy to his new home before Fuling's birthday, which is November 15th.
Copyright 2016 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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