10 Things About Charles Service and Freedom Dogs


No Man Left Behind (Military Creed)

While Beth Russell was working as a registered nurse, her love of animals led her on a path to train service dogs. Russell saw how these dogs were able to enhance the quality of life for individuals with disabilities by lowering anxiety while increasing independence and self-esteem. Russell was confident that the training of service dogs could be custom tailored to help our country’s wounded military heroes who were suffering from physical challenges like Traumatic Brain Injuries as well as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). In 2006, Russell founded the nonprofit Freedom Dogs and began pairing specialty service dogs and trainers with wounded warriors who struggle daily with these issues. Vietnam Veteran Charles Service can speak to the relief that comes from knowing that true survival, far away from the frontline, is on its way thanks to his Freedom Dog.


10 Things About Charles Service and Freedom Dogs

#1 I grew up in Napa Valley, California.

#2 My favorite travel destination is Sedona, Arizona. I would like to some day visit Egypt!

#3 It is on my bucket list to golf at Pebble Beach.

#4 My favorite bands are the Village People and Journey. My favorite tv show is “Chicago P.D.” and my favorite movie is “She Wore A Yellow Ribbon” which features John Wayne.

#5 The biggest challenge returning from the Vietnam War was being treated so badly by society. Dealing with combat related PTSD was difficult and people’s reactions to us made it devastating.

#6 I am a double cancer survivor. Both cancers were a result of exposure to Agent Orange in Vietnam.

#7 In January 2022, I was referred to Freedom Dogs by my Mental Health Provider at the Veterans Health Administration. She gave me a list of Service Dog programs and I called and talked with Mike at Freedom Dogs who helped me through the process. I met Beth at the interview and the rest is history.

#8 After participating in the Freedom Dogs program for seven months, I was paired up with my service dog, Chance. We still attend training classes two times a week.

#9 Freedom Dogs is my lifeline. They have turned my life around and have become my family. My whole life is better because of them.

#10 Now in its tenth year, the popular Freedom Dogs Golf Tournament at Fairbanks Ranch Country Club is a celebration of the dogs, their owners and everyone who makes the organization possible. Freedom Dogs does not charge for their programs or service dogs so the proceeds from their golf tournament is crucial to the success of their mission.

Freedom Dogs
10th Annual Golf Tournament
Monday, March 13, 2023
Fairbanks Ranch Country Club
15150 San Dieguito Road in Rancho Santa Fe


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Esteban Villanueva