Veterans carry a special place in our hearts!

Battle Buddies was started in 2012 by John and Jo Anne Creed. John, a Marine Veteran who is disabled and Jo Anne originally started by volunteering as puppy raisers for other organizations for mobility disabilities. After meeting several veterans with PTSD and traumatic brain injuries in their state of South Carolina, they saw a need for service dogs and Battle Buddies was born.

It all started with one puppy named Camouflage and has grown ever since. Through the generosity of breeders, Battle Buddies starts training puppies at 8 weeks old until they are placed around 18 months. They also rely on puppy raiser families to socialize puppies during that time and take them to obedience training and all their medical visits. Veterans are matched with their battle buddy half way through the puppies training to start the bond.

Through fundraising and donations, Battle Buddies has continued to grow to place more service dogs with needy veterans each year. The goal of Battle Buddies is to return the veteran to civilian life with independence.



Community Partnerships

Mauldin High School Sponsor

We are deeply honored to have been chosen by Mauldin High School for their charity nonprofit this year! By supporting their spirt week events, you can help Battle Buddies positively impact the lives of veterans. Follow the link below for more information on how their hard work and generosity will largely help our non-profit in the future.


Mickey has helped my anxiety tremendously. He has helped me more than any medication that I have tried. He is a loyal and trusted friend

Roger Carpenter

I have witnessed life saving changes accomplished in veterans through Battle Buddies’ mission; it’s moving and inspiring. John and Jo Anne develop long-lasting personal relationships with the veterans they help transition back to civilian life. It’s a blessing to work alongside them.

Erica Woods

Adams… A friend, companion, loving, funny and a Best friend. He saved me from awful thoughts of my PTSD. I can describe him in one word… Faithful

Edward Palmer

Meet our Team

Passionate about our Battle Buddies

Jo Anne Creed


Jo Anne Creed is the Director and Founder of Battle Buddies along with her husband John Creed. Jo Anne is the proud mom of 4 children and 1 grandson. She received her Bachelor of Science from Georgian Court University. After working for several service dog organizations Jo Anne and her husband felt led to start Battle Buddies to focus on veterans suffering with PTSD and traumatic brain injuries.

John Creed


John Creed founded Battle Buddies with his wife Jo Anne Creed in 2012. John is a Marine Corp Veteran serving in the Air Wing. His passion for Veterans and love of dogs led to the creation of Battle Buddies.

He is proud dad of 4 children and 1 grandson.

Marilize Cornwell

Social Media Coordinator

Marilize Cornwell is in charge of our social media! She is a Senior at Clemson University obtaining a Bachelor’s in Animal and Veterinary Sciences, emphasis in pre-vet, with two minors in Biological Sciences and Microbiology. In her free time Marilize enjoys digital design, reading books, playing Tennis, spending time with friends and family, and working with her service dog Aurora.

Michael J. Nicolini, CPA

Board Member – Treasurer

Mike has a long line of military veterans in his family. Mike has also loved dogs since he was a young boy, and he and his wife have fostered many rescue dogs over the past ten years. Mike sees Battle Buddies as a way to serve veterans through the love and loyalty of dogs and believes Battle Buddies provides a much needed service to America’s heroes. Mike and his wife, Tate, have lived in the Upstate since they met at Clemson 30 years ago. They have two boys in college. Mike is the owner of Moorhead, Nicolini, and Associates, CPA, PA with offices in Gaffney and Simpsonville.

Anna Harris

Board Member

Anna Harris served as a Human Resource Officer in the United States Army. Her education includes undergraduate studies at the United States Military Academy, graduate studies at Texas A&M – Commerce and she is a certified Black Belt in Six Sigma and Senior Professional in Human Resources. She is currently the Director of Human Chemistry and Talent at North American Rescue and volunteers throughout veteran community.

Dr. Lindsay Cash

Board Member

Dr. Lindsay Cash is the owner and dentist at Pearl Dental Studio in Simpsonville, SC. Inspired by the veterans she cared for during her dental residency, Dr. Cash knew she wanted to be involved with giving back to those who sacrificed so much to serve our country. Dr. Cash is thrilled to serve on the board of Battle Buddies. In her free time, she enjoys being outdoors, cooking, and spending time with her family and dogs.mpsonville.

John Adams

Board Member

In the year 2004, I created Hawthorne Holding group (HHG). HHG operates eight full-service restaurants, and develops and manages a number of real estate within the Charlotte, NC region. Prior to HHG, I was a trained mental health counselor for the State of North Carolina. During my tenure as a counselor, I had the privilege of working with a number of patients on the mental health spectrum. I am a graduate of the State University of New York at Geneseo, where I majored in psychology. I currently live in Charlotte, NC with my wife, Jaimee and our son, Finn Patrick.

Denise Smith

Board Member

Denise is the owner of Mission Accomplished Consulting, LLC, a human resources and risk management consulting company serving clients in a wide range of industries and compliance standards, including commercial, public-sector, and nonprofits. Denise has extensive experience working with many human service organizations, including those that provide assistance to homeless families, people with addictions, and people who have mental illnesses and developmental disabilities.