Veterans Services

Peer Mentors

The purpose of our peer mentor program is to have an additional, peer-to-peer resource available to student veterans to assist with things such as purchasing books, understanding benefits, connecting with on and off campus resources, and sharing experiences about classes/professors taken. Please contact a peer mentor if you'd like a student veteran to student veteran connection!


Aaron Flynn


Political Science

I'm a Staff Sergeant (E-5) in the New Hampshire Air National Guard completing my bachelor's degree in Political Science. I've been in the military for over 7 years now as a refueler Crew Chief. I've been fortunate enough to see the world from deployments to TDYs and continue to serve in a National Guard capacity. I would love to be able to share my knowledge with other veterans who may need help with their benefits or making connections to the Veterans Service department. I can assist students in signing up for post 9/11 GI bill benefits


 Gary Gutierrez or 

Retired US Army active duty

Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling (Graduate student)

Can assist with academic journey in GI Bills. forever GI Bill, yellow ribbon program. Currently works at the VA. 


Helen Russell

United States Navy 

Master of Occupational Therapy

I served 7 years on active duty, deploying twice in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, and anti-piracy operations off the Horn of Africa. For the last six years, I have continued my service in the Navy Reserves. The GI Bill has allowed me to become a licensed physical therapist assistant and now pursue my ultimate goal of becoming an occupational therapist. Thanks to being stationed in Maine while on active duty, I discovered this wonderful state. USM is incredibly veteran-friendly, and Maine also has other veteran-friendly organizations my family has come to know, such as Boots to Roots. I'm also the lucky mom of a kindergartener. 


Christian Silverthorne 


Master of Social Work

My name is Christian Silverthorne.  I live with my wife in the USM neighborhood, and  I am a staff member at Preble Street's Florence House Women's shelter. I served eight years as an 0311 Infantry Rifleman with 1st Battalion 25th Marines, including tours in Fallujah, Iraq, and Nimruz and Helmand Province, Afghanistan. At present, I am completing a Master of Social Work at USM.  Previously I completed a Master of Management with a concentration in Organizational Leadership at Cambridge College and graduate Management coursework at Harvard extension school. My undergraduate degree is a Bachelor of Music/Business Management from the Berklee College of Music. I am deeply familiar with the Department of Veteran's Affairs system. I have a great deal of insight and personal experience related to readjustment and the challenges veterans face, especially when returning to -or beginning an academic program. I may also be of help regarding personal financial management, social stressors, homework and study management, and even substance use issues. More than anything? I know how to listen!