MARQUETTE — Northern Michigan University continues to make strides to help its students who have served in the military.

For about a year and a half, Michael Rutledge has served as the Veterans Resource Representative at the University. His service has helped earn the school multiple honors, including the latest from the Michigan Veteran Education Initiative. Rutledge says the string of recognition has been helpful to veterans in the community at large.

“The veterans who aren’t using their education benefits that have them — who may have had some sort of apprehension or anxiety about going back to school — when they see on television or they read in the newspaper that the school’s so veteran-friendly, they’re much more willing to come approach me and take advantage of that,” said Rutledge, who also works in Veteran Student Services at the University.

Among the initiatives Rutledge has undertaken since becoming the school’s representative is the formation of a Student Veterans of America chapter.

“Bringing veterans together on campus is very important,” Rutledge added. “The veteran experience is much different than the traditional college student experience. Being able to reach out to other veterans, whether it’s me or somebody that’s more in their age group if they’re a younger veteran, makes a big deal in their success.”

Plans are in place to expand that student group to include colleges and Universities across the Upper Peninsula in the fall. Click here to learn more about services offered for veterans at Northern Michigan University.