By Betty Vanderwielen

Paying the government's bills

Veterans Spotlight


September 22, 2022

Photo provided

Michael Brent, Petty Officer Third Class, in his dress uniform while at sea.

SEELEY LAKE – Graduating high school in 2002 with no clear career path in front of him, Mike Brent joined the United States Navy. He knew he eventually wanted to pursue higher education. Serving in the military would help finance that. In addition, the Navy might allow him to see more of the world beyond his home state of Colorado.

His military plans almost ended before they began. An eye examination during Boot Camp revealed Brent was partially colorblind. He was told he could become a Navy cook or he could go home. Not happy about either option, Brent pushed to find a better alternativ...

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