Gage Ruehlen has served in the National Guard for four years, but while attending a university for the first three, he never accessed any of the financial aid benefits that come with being a servicemember.
“The nice thing about Macomb is they’ll do it all for you,” Ruehlen said of the College’s Office of Veteran & Military Services. “They take care of everything.”
Ruehlen, a Chesterfield native, said he serves because of a sense of civic duty, which is why he’s studying accounting at Macomb with hopes of earning a bachelor’s at Walsh and joining the FBI.
“I’ve always been someone to ask ‘why,’ and accounting explains the ‘why,’” he said.
There are unique challenges to being a student in the National Guard, he said. The military training which has pushed his physical and mental limits can occasionally interfere with his academic responsibilities.
“I’ve talked to every one of my professors about the military and that I might have to miss something for training, and they’ve all been really understanding and wished me well,” he said.
Ruehlen has earned straight As in his accounting classes and hopes to be a tutor at Macomb this fall.
“The classroom atmosphere (at Macomb) has made it really easy,” he said. “It’s smaller, so you’re more in tune to the other people in class. I’ve already made way more friends at Macomb.”
And much like the National Guard has taught him that he can do whatever he sets his mind to, so has following a course of study that excites him.
“I wake up and I want to learn,” he said. “That makes it easy.”