A war veteran brought his best friend dog back from Iraq just in time – to be his BEST MAN.
Matt Murrell, 42, a close protection security officer, fell in love with mongrel Kev whilst deployed in Rumaila, near Basra.
The former Royal Marine loved Kev so much that he spent thousands of pounds bringing him back to Britain – just in time for him to act as best man at his wedding.
Matt, from Kempston, Beds., said: “He had become a friendly face in a horrid dwelling.
“There was no question of if we’d get him home, it was a matter of how.
“It ended up costing us a fortune and was a long process, but Kev finally came home was there when I got married.”
Last month, Matt tied the knot to long-term girlfriend Vicki, 41, an air stewardess, and Kev was best man at the wedding, proudly wearing a little blue tie and guarding the rings.
Matt met the stray in 2013, and the pair soon became best buddies.
He said: “He was such a friendly dog – a welcome distraction when you are spending hours of your day tense, in such derelict and hostile places.
“After long and often dangerous working conditions, I’d come back to camp exhausted and there he’d be.
“He was always happy, playful and such a pleasant addition to my life. There were other strays, but Kev was different and a clear favourite.
“He kept all of our spirits up out there, especially being away from my Vicki.”
Self-confessed dog lover, Vicki would look forward to Matt’s regular updates, photos and stories he’d send home.
Matt eventually decided to bring the pooch back to Britain, and began the long and laborious process last September.
He spent in the region of £6,500 on Kev, paying for vet bills and quarantine costs, but in April he was finally given the okay to bring him home.
When Matt and Vicki tied the knot, it was Kev not the blushing bride that was the star attraction.
The guests loved him and he posed for photos next to the couple and ate a large slice of wedding cake.
Matt, who now works for Network Rail, said: “He was my best man in Iraq so I wanted him to be my best man at the wedding too.
“It’s true what they say, a man’s best friend really is their dog.”