Health & LivingNews

MercyOne North Iowa Medical Center Proudly Presents Craig Grossi, Author of the NIACC Common Read Craig & Fred

MercyOne North Iowa Medical Center proudly presents Craig Grossi, author of the 2022-23 NIACC Common Read Craig & Fred at the North Iowa Community Auditorium on the NIACC campus at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 9th, 2022. This presentation is part of the 2022-2023 Performing Arts and Leadership Series.

 A story born from a stubborn commitment to innocence. Proof of what is possible when we refuse to become products of our environment.

“It’s not what happens to you, but how you react that matters.”


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 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 that Craig 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.

Fred not only stole Craig’s heart; he won over the RECON fighters, who helped Craig smuggle the dog into the heavily fortified Camp Leatherneck in a duffel bag—risking jail and Fred’s life. With the help of a crew of DHL workers, a sympathetic vet, and a military dog handler, Fred eventually made it to Craig’s family in Virginia.

Months later, when Craig returned to the U.S., it was Fred’s turn to save the wounded Marine from Post-Traumatic Stress. Craig left the Marines in search of a new mission – to share his story and his adventures with Fred and the message of “stubborn positivity” that he inspired. Today, Craig 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. Craig and Fred’s new book, Second Chances, tells the deeply emotional and inspiring story of the next phase of their lives together: working closely with prison inmates in Maine who raise and train puppies to become service dogs.

A poignant and inspiring tale of hope, resilience, and optimism, with a timeless message at its heart, Craig & Fred is a shining example of the power of love to transform our hearts and our lives.

Craig and Fred have been featured and interviewed in multiple newscasts and articles, including the Today Show, Rachael Ray, The Washington Post, People Magazine, and many others.

The Common Read is a program designed to engage North Iowa Area Community College students, staff, faculty, and community members in a unified intellectual activity. For first-year students, it introduces them to academic expectations, respectful discourse, and community building. The Common Read is supported by the Performing Arts and Leadership Series. First-year students will be asked to read the book as part of their Composition One requirements.

This program is supported by the Academic Affairs board of the institution and a host of individual faculty, staff, and community members on the Common Read Committee.

To learn more about Craig Grossi, visit or watch a video at

For tickets to the show, call the NIACC Box Office at 1-888-466-4222, extension 4188. Tickets may also be purchased online at


Back to top button