While serving overseas in Afghanistan, Staff Sgt. Kevin Brady befriended Bailey, a tiny, malnourished puppy who was only several weeks old.
"Bailey actually came and visited our base when she was barely able to walk," Brady said on "GMA LIVE" of how he first met the puppy. "Myself and a bunch of other soldiers took her in and spoiled her from there. She got a bunch of table scraps. Needless to say, she just took to us pretty well. It's a pretty harsh country over there and without any parents, she probably wouldn't have done so well."
But when Brady's tour was over and he returned stateside in May, he was forced to say goodbye to Bailey, or so he thought, ABC News reported.
Former Marine Raises $4,000 to Be Reunited with Dog from Afghanistan
Thanks to two organizations, Save-a-Pet Animal Rescue and Guardians of Rescue, who raised $5,000 to bring Bailey back to the United States, the two were reunited on the Fourth of July in Long Island, N.Y., and took a cross-country road trip back to Brady's home in Sacramento, Calif.
"It was awesome," Brady, 32, said of the reunion. "She was a little piece of home that was overseas that got to come back. You saw the excitement on both of our faces."
Bailey is one of many pets that have been brought back to the United States as part of a project called "No Buddy Left Behind."