Russell joined the Navy shortly after high-school and went off to see the world — completing two deployments to the Persian Gulf during Operation Earnest Will, and a Med Cruise as an electrician aboard minesweepers, both old and new. He was stationed in all corners of the country: Florida, upstate New York, Chicago, Seattle, San Diego, Pearl Harbor, and Texas in his 11-and-a-half years of naval service. After the Navy, Russell moved back to Oregon and found a new career in computer repair in Corvallis, Lebanon, and then Redmond. Through the years, he continued his education — taking a variety of college classes at Columbia Gorge Community College in The Dalles, and online at Walden University. Russell began his service to Veterans when he started volunteering in the Wasco County Veterans Service Office for several months in 2011 and early in 2012. He was hired by Wasco County as a full-time Veterans Service Officer (VSO). He is now an accredited VSO representing the 3,000+ veterans and surviving spouses of veterans of Wasco County.