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Craig & Fred: A Marine, A Stray Dog, and How They Rescued Each Other

4.49  ·  Rating details ·  1,140 ratings  ·  189 reviews
The uplifting and unforgettable true story of a US Marine, the stray dog he met on an Afghan battlefield, and how they saved each other and now travel America together, "spreading the message of stubborn positivity."

In 2010, Sergeant Craig Grossi was doing intelligence work for Marine RECON—the most elite fighters in the Corps—in a remote part of Afghanistan. While on patr
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published October 31st 2017 by William Morrow
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4.49  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,140 ratings  ·  189 reviews

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Apr 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone!
Shelves: nonfiction, audio
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"Even simply looking at Fred was comforting."

Yes! This was everything I hoped for when I saw the cover.

A man and dog found comfort in each other during the war in Afghanistan.

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Through the great effort and big hearts of many this story had a happy ending. The personal losses of war endured were not glossed over but this is an uplifting story of two friends who made it together.

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It’s the best kind of memorial to all the soldiers, and dogs, that did not make it out.

My love of reading c
Nov 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, memoirs
This was the greatest, most beautiful story I've heard in a long time. Craig has an incredible story and also possesses the gift of storytelling. This is the sort of tale that makes you listen, laugh, and cry. There's something special about both Craig and his faithful friend Fred, and it's evident within seconds of beginning this book. The two of them steal your heart! This book celebrates loving bonds between people and dogs, but also people and each other. I loved that. I will definitely rere ...more
One of the things I greatly admire and respect in a war veteran's memoir is the courage required to tell THEIR story with honesty and fortitude. To tell it in language and recollection that is uniquely their own, sharing their experiences, good and bad, honorable or not, to the best of their ability, knowing full well they run a great risk of being misunderstood, harshly judged, taken for granted, or viewed as a braggart. For there is healing in the telling. And that is what TRULY matters most.

Jessica White
Dec 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Starting 2018 out strong with my fav dog book of the year, Craig & Fred!
So I first saw a video posted on The Dodo Facebook page of a marine who snuck a dog out of Afghanistan while on deployment.
Obviously, I knew I had to get this book.

But here's a little back story first:
My husband and I currently live in South Korea because that's where the Army put us.
I'm not going to even pretend this is in any way similar to Afghanistan, but there are stray dogs EVERYWHERE like Craig describes in his bo
Jun 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
This book was given to me as a gift from one of my husband’s grandmothers. She and I always seem to end up talking about books, and Craig and Fred was one she had mentioned. It was super sweet that she purchased this one, and I dove right in!

I am always appreciative and have such a high level of respect for those who serve their country, especially someone so young. I know I couldn’t do it, so it’s inspiring to read about those who have. Now, throw a cute and loyal dog into the mix, then you ha
Oct 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book hit all my like buttons. It's military, animal rescue, educational without being preachy and has a dog as the co-star. Fred is rescued by Craig Grossi and his fellow marines in Afghanistan. With some luck and help by his fellow soldiers, Craig is able to ship Fred back to the states for his Dad to keep safe. With duel timelines in alternating chapters we travel with Fred and his buddies across the US before settling down to finish his education and find his life's mission and the harro ...more
Beverly G. Knapp
A grace greater than we know

I truly enjoyed this account of how the relationship between a man and his dog sustained both during their experience of war. I found myself moved to laughter, tears and amazement over their trials in Afghanistan. This book is further proof of the truth that the love between humans and dogs can heal some of the deepest wounds that shape us during life.
Tara Davis
Jun 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Such a touching story!
Donna Heitmann
Mar 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If I could award this book 10 stars, I would. Amazing!
Ash Wilson
“A loving, adventurous, and rewarding life is possible when we are STUBBORNLY POSITIVE.” - Fred the Afghan

This was the book of my summer, the book of my year, & the story of a lifetime. In fairness, it did combine two of the elements closest to my heart & easiest to ignite my internal water-works system - dogs & the U.S. military. Sooo it did have that going for it right off the bat from the title & cover picture.

But as my Aunt said when we finished reading it - (which yes, it
Mar 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved this one so much.

I've worked with animals for most of my life in various fields (vet tech, kennels, managing a shelter) yet I hate reading about animals. Most non fiction books about animals are about a the wacky adventures of a *bad* dog and the lack of respect and understanding of the animals drives me crazy. But Craig is always so respectful of Fred and his needs. And Craig's story - is just as fascinating.

I wrote a few more thoughts on my blog along with posting the book trailer - h
Lou~Silver Medalist in DNF's
A superficial but heartwarming tale of a soldier who met a dog in Afghanistan and the friendship they developed.

This story also illustrates that the most devastating stigma is self-imposed. I thought there were many missed opportunities in this story to really connect with readers. Especially near the end where it ot kind of preachy. It made me think of that Everlast song What it's like:

You know where it is, usually depends on where you start.

As superficial as it was, it was still thought provo
Jan 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The book is a simple one and a quick read. Just because of that though doesn’t mean the lessons and emotions in the book are. It talks about real human emotion and the things that keep us going. I’m grateful for the reminder of how life’s challenges can be overcome with positive tenacity and some help from your friends and friendly strangers. Life is all about the people in it. Definitely gave my furry friend, Gus, an extra big cuddle and kiss to thank him for making my life richer every day too ...more
Apr 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: adult-2019
Craig Grossi "met" Fred, a stray dog, on a tour as a marine in Afghanistan. Fred, unlike some of the other dogs, was friendly, loyal and loving from the start. Unwilling to leave Fred when he returned stateside, Craig managed to bring him home. Grossi 's story is split in a before and after format. He start with a road trip he takes with a buddy and Fred across the United States. Interspersed with this is how he met Fred and events in his tour of duty. Grossi endured some tragedies and losses wh ...more
Apr 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
I loved this book! I really enjoyed the author’s honesty and how Fred guided him through his combat experience and then his return to his home and family. I think Fred was sent from some kind of magical being - so lucky for these two to find each other! I was really moved by the whole story - thank you Craig!
May 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, military
Good way of telling the story of this Marine's life in Afghanistan by telling the story of a stray Afghan dog.

Serious subjects are handled but this is broken up with the stories involving Fred, the dog.

Team RWB bookclub
Jul 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow! What a book.
Danielle Sliepka
Jan 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018
Oh Fred, you have captured my heart! This book pulled on every heart string I have. Best book I have read in a long time. What a captivating story that was beautifully written/told.
Ruth Ann
This is the almost unbelievable, and well-written, story of Fred - a dog from Afghanistan - and Craig - a marine from Northern Virginia - and how they found each other and came home to the United States.

p. 75 - "Each day, from sunup to sundown, Taliban bullets and bombs crashed in and around our compound. But I felt the threat of the Taliban most deeply when I met people like Asif [a young man, a school teacher, who risked his life to teach youngsters at night in an empty building in a nearby co
Jan 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Incredible story told well. Thank you for your service, and thank God for Fred.
Dec 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book! Great job Craig Grossi and many thanks for your service (and Freds!).
Nov 30, 2017 rated it liked it
Not sure that I would like reading about such a recent war zone, but this book combined a very personal reflection on war with an endearing story about a dog that helped keep his soldier/rescuer grounded upon return.
Ella P
Feb 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The book I read was Craig & Fred: A Marine, A stray Dog, And How They Rescued Each Other. This was about Craig, the Marine, and a stray dog, Fred, who meet in Afghanistan and instantly love each other.

This book was more of a memoir nonfiction book. It talked about Craig’s life during his time in Afghanistan and after he comes home. The author is informing me how life in Afghanistan affects your life back home. For example Craig and his dog Fred react mentally and physically different since
Nov 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
*Disclaimer: I won this book from a Goodreads first reads giveaway.

Craig and Fred....what an amazing story. Craig says in the book that he rescued Fred, but Fred rescued Craig right back. Truer words could not be spoken. Craig, a marine stationed in Afghanistan fighting the Taliban finds comfort in a stray dog who he names Fred. Stray dogs are common in Afghanistan but if a Marine or any other Service-person is found getting too close to a dog, the dog can be euthanized because the commanders do
Dec 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
An incredible story of a recon Marine's effort to save a stray dog in Afghanistan and how it returned the favor in saving the wounded Marine from post-traumatic stress.
Tonya Plank
Dec 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: animal lovers, dog lovers
Recommended to Tonya by: Chandler Public Library
From Witty Kitty's Book Blog

I loved this book! I saw it in my local library when I went there to get a novel for a book club. I haven’t read many military books, but how could anyone resist this cover!

CRAIG & FRED is the true story of a Marine - and Purple Heart recipient, Craig - who became very attached to a stray during his service in Afghanistan and managed to adopt the dog, Fred, and transport him back to his home in Virginia. You know the story has a happy ending because of all the pi
Kaleb Reid
Aug 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great job, Mr. Grossi on this amazing book. From your life story to the hard moments your story was amazing. I rate you a 5/5 for such a great book, moral, and something I truly enjoyed.

I had an amazing time reading your book and this is my all time favorite book by a longshot. The way you tell your story really sets it off and the story in general of how you picked up Fred and kept him by your side even when it seemed impossible, really amazes me. I understand how hard it would be to write an a
Jan 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I love animals so this book really caught my eye. It was an amazing story about a dog named Fred and a RECON Marine- most elite fighters in the corps, and how they rescued each other. Craig found the dog in Afghanistan when he was doing a tour and they became best buds. The point of view of the story makes it extremely well written because its in first person so it's very emotional and in some cases you feel like you are right there with him trying to get through the obstacles he is trying to ov ...more
Linda Hutchinson
Nov 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
⭐⭐⭐⭐ Coming from a military family, I have some idea of the sacrifices and hardships our soldier’s face returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. I also understand the balm for a weary soul when you care for a homeless and unloved dog on the battlefield. I know the love a pet brings to a home when rescued from a shelter in the United States. Craig Grossi has written a very moving and loving homage to his dog, Fred and to his fellow vets that was very heartfelt. The length he goes to bring Fred home f ...more
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