Bellevue University student recognized for helping veterans | Airpulse

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Michelle Robertson understands the challenges veterans face when returning to the civilian workforce.

The recent Bellevue University graduate was a weather forecaster for the US Air Force. The mother of five raised her family and later decided to pursue an education at BU, where she found her calling in helping other veterans.

Robertson was named one of 33 student veterans who are making a positive difference in their school and in their communities by GI Jobs magazine. She was a student worker at BU’s Military Veteran Services Center, which helps veterans in the community receive services and support.

“There are so many veterans who don’t know they can come in and get help for their service-related disabilities,” Robertson said in an interview. “We can help them with employment services. We help them with resumes, questions about the GI Bill, and other educational options for veterans.

Robertson received the 2022 GI Jobs Student Veteran Leadership Award for his work at the center, including being the first point of contact for incoming veterans seeking help and helping set up appointments, completing paperwork and connecting veterinarians with resources.

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“Michelle is truly a force to be reckoned with,” center director Heather Carroll said in a press release. “Not only is she a veteran, but she is the mother of five boys, including a set of twins, and served as the primary parent while her husband traveled for work.”

The center provides advocacy to veterans who manage service-related disability claims, provides access to counseling, and offers a program called Guitars 4 Vets that helps people with post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety.

Robertson said she helped update some of the centers’ processes and volunteered in the community to publicize the center’s offerings. She participated in the center’s annual Veterans Day project which provides backpacks to homeless veterans.

“This last time we were able to interact with them and serve them their steak dinner that was given away,” Robertson said. “Guitars for Vets gave them a gig while they ate.”

While in the Air Force, Robertson worked as a forecaster at Offutt Air Force Base as part of a bureau that provided weather products to special operations groups around the world. When special operations teams planned a mission, his team provided forecasts for the region to help identify weather conditions — such as sandstorms in the Middle East — that could pose a challenge during the operation.

Robertson left the service in 2004. Carroll said she worked at the center throughout her college career and maintained a 3.71 grade point average, the equivalent of a high “A” grade in the ‘together.

“(She) has helped countless local veterans by scheduling appointments, arranging tours, and directing them to available resources (U.S. veterans with disabilities) and nonprofits,” Carroll said.

Robertson received a Bachelor of Science in Human Resource Management at Bellevue University’s spring commencement ceremony on June 4. His recognition in GI Jobs magazine will be published in August, according to a press release.

For his part, Robertson hopes to secure full-time employment, hopefully continuing his work serving veterans in the Bellevue-Offutt community.

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