Bergman visits with local veterans

MARQUETTE — Republican candidate for the first congressional district, Jack Bergman, took some time out of his campaign this morning to speak with some local veterans.

The members of the Student Veterans of America chapter at Northern Michigan University kicked off the school year with a special visit from Bergman, who is a retired three-star general for the U.S. Marine Corps.

He said the goal was to open up dialogue about issues other veterans are facing.

“No one, veterans included, ever wants to be alone or feel alone,” said Bergman. “Part of my message to them, and the interaction this morning, was that we need to reach out to our fellow veterans to share the experience, share the dialogue, lend an ear, probably more important than lending a tongue.”

Northern’s Director of Veterans Services, Michael Rutledge, says having Bergman speak about his experiences has a positive effect on student veterans.

“It’s nice to be able to recognize veterans, particularly young veterans who have just gotten out or have been out recently,” said Rutledge. “To have someone senior ranking let them know what they did was important, but more importantly, what they’re going on to do is important. They can bring the experience they obtained in the service into their civilian careers.”

The student organization works with other veterans associations in the community to create a cohesive team regardless of branch or age.