In 2010, Sergeant Craig Grossi was an intelligence collector assigned to Marine RECON—the most elite fighters in the Corps—in a remote part of Afghanistan. While on patrol, he spotted a young dog "with a big goofy head and little legs" who didn’t seem vicious or run in a pack like most strays they’d encountered. After eating a piece of beef jerky Grossi offered—against military regulations—the dog began to follow him. "Looks like you made a friend," another Marine yelled. Grossi heard, "Looks like a 'Fred.'" The name stuck, and a beautiful, life-changing friendship was forged. In October 2017, Grossi’s uplifting and unforgettable memoir Craig & Fred: A Marine, A Stray Dog, and How They Rescued Each Other (William Morrow) debuts.
From the moment they met, Grossi and Fred were inseparable; whether out on missions or back at the base, Fred went along. When the time came for Grossi to leave Afghanistan, he knew that Fred had to leave with him no matter what. And as Grossi tried to get acclimated to civilian life, Fred was there for him. Craig & Fred: A Marine, A Stray Dog, and How They Rescued Each Other is a poignant and inspiring tale of hope, resilience, and optimism.
A young reader’s edition of their story will also debut in October 2017.
Today, Grossi and Fred are touching lives nationwide, from a swampy campground in a Louisiana State Park to the streets of Portland, Oregon, and everywhere in between, spreading the message of stubborn positivity. Through heartwarming, powerful presentations Grossi is perfect for audiences of all sizes, including schools and universities, advocacy groups, outreach programs, veterans associations, non-profit organizations and corporations. Grossi is proof of what is possible when we understand it is not what happens to you but how you react that matters.
Grossi is an eight-year Marine Corps veteran, and a recipient of the Purple Heart. After returning from Afghanistan, Grossi attended Georgetown University. When he is not travelling with Fred, Grossi works intensively with veteran organizations, including the USA Warriors Ice Hockey Program and the Tragedy Assistance Programs for Survivors (TAPS). He and Fred live in Washington, DC.
Praise for Craig Grossi:
"In my forty plus years of hosting and attending library programs (including many fabulous concerts), Craig and Fred were one of my favorite programs ever! Craig really is extraordinary - smart, funny, warm, modest, kind, thoughtful and a natural speaker. People LOVED him and his message - I don't think I have ever had so many people thank me for arranging a program or tell me how much the program meant to them. Honestly, it was a remarkable experience."
--Deborah Rutter, Cheshire Public Library
"We had a spectacular visit and people are still thanking me for hosting Craig and Fred!
--Gail Thompson-Allen, Russell Public Library
"Our events with Craig & Nora & Fred & Ruby were awesome! The kids (and adults) were thrilled and enthusiastic and the signing was crazy-good. Our event room was mobbed with people, and it was standing room only in the back. It was so heartwarming to see how many people were touched by their story. It really was a special day for everyone involved!"
--Susan Kehoe, Browesabout Books