Veterans at Northern Michigan University
have a new resource on campus. Veterans resource representative Mike Rutledge is new to NMU and will have office hours at the Hedgcock administrative building to assist students who are veterans.
Rutledge's goal is to help veterans on campus and those in the community take advantage of all the educational and other benefits available to them due to military service.
He comes to NMU after serving in the U.S. Army for 22 years as a noncommissioned officer. After retiring from military service, Rutledge taught at a high school and a community college, so has both a military and educational background.
The new position is funded both by NMU and the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency; he is the newest of twelve resource representatives at colleges or universities in Michigan.
Rutledge's office is located in 2607 Hedgcock, and he says, will be staffed by himself and his service dog, Onyx. He can help veterans with financial aid, access to benefits like the Post-911 Bill and the Montgomery Bill, as well as health care and other federal benefits.
"When I got out of the Army, I had no idea what benefits I was eligible for until I met with a counselor," Rutledge says. "I want area vets to know I'm here and ready to help. The benefits can range from education to health care to home loans. I can help people complete the required paperwork and point them to other resources, as needed. Even if a vet just wants to sit in my office and swap stories, that's fine, too."
Writer: Kim Eggleston
Source: Northern Michigan University