Veterans Voices: Sailor and Soldier now Serving Rochester community

Veterans Voices

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Shondrell Rutley started his military journey as an Undesignated Airman on USS New Orleans in San Diego. He deployed in 1993 to Somalia, their mission to assist ground and air forces there during ‘Operation Restore Hope’.

“Then I left the Navy and joined the Army back here in Rochester as an ’88 Mike’, truck driver,” Rutley said. “Because my wife didn’t like me being out at sea too much.”

While serving with the National Guard in Rochester, Rutley turned to the Veterans Outreach Center to help look for a full-time job. They began by getting him his security license. 

“They also helped me with my arm guard license.”

A 47-hour course both in-class and on the range, all thanks to the center here.  “I didn’t know too much about the programs, I just gave them a call and they helped me out.”

Now, Rutley is a security supervisor at the Regional Transit Center on Clinton Ave. in Rochester. Rutley says he still in a way, wears the uniform and continues to serve.

“Down at the transit, we interact with the community every day. It feels good to help the community out.”

He says the career is fitting, and the military gave him many of the skills needed for the job. But what he misses most from his days in service are ‘the guys’ and the camaraderie. 

“Lot of good times. A lot of sleepless times. But, we had a good time.”

Rutley says if you’re a veteran and looking for some direction in life or career, reach out to the VOC. 

“It’s a great source for veterans. If you don’t know about it, call and learn what programs they have to offer.”

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