WLAF highlights a local veteran on this 4th of July

LAFOLLETTE, TN (WLAF) – US Army veteran Bill Rutter (TOP PHOTO) could not leave fast enough after his high school graduation from Powell Valley High School.  “I wanted nothing to do with Speedwell,” said the upbeat Rutter who owns and operates Computer Care inside the Woodson’s Mall.

In his defense, there is some impressive family history of serving in the military.  Rutter’s father Gary was a paratrooper with the 101st Airborne Division during the Vietnam War.  His uncle Billy Houston, a Marine, was one of only 316 survivors from the USS Indianapolis after it was torpedoed by the Japanese during World War II.  The sinking of the Indianapolis resulted in the greatest single loss of life (879 men) at sea, from a single ship, in the history of the US Navy.  Houston died in 1997.

Rutter grew up in the greater Chicago area and joined the National Guard at age 16.  After moving back to his mother’s native Claiborne County, he later attended basic training at Knoxville the summer before his senior year in high school (1990).  “My plan was only to be in the National Guard.  However, after scoring well on my Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) tests, recruiters came to talk to me, and I enlisted,” said the now 49-year old Rutter.

Sandra Jean Heatherly Sharp (L) has Rutter take a look at her laptop on Wednesday afternoon at Computer Care.

“I loved and needed the structure of the army, and it’s carried over.  I’m a little OCD about things as a result,” said the former Specialist E-4.  Rutter describes himself as being a trouble maker since birth until he served.

The Gulf War was over when Rutter signed on.  Though he did spend almost a year in Saudi Arabia training tank mechanics.  “Yes, I am a veteran, but I was just doing a job.  Those combat guys are the heroes.  I don’t even want to compare myself to them.  The guys that do the real deal, those who fought in Afghanistan and Iraq, they deserve the praise,” said Rutter.

Computer Care is where you can find Rutter unless he’s out on a call.

Rutter’s winding career wound its way through nearly eight years in the U.S. Army to driving an 18-wheeler to working in a pharmacy to owning his own computer shop.  He opened Computer Care in 2010 after earning three degrees from Fountain Head College of Technology.  He makes his home at Demory where Old Glory flies high above his yard.

PUBLISHER’S NOTE:  This story initially ran on July 4, 2019.

How will the veteran spend today?  Rutter said, “Spending time with the family, grilling out, and enjoying the American way of life.”  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 07/04/2019-6AM-REPUBLISHED AND UPDATED NOV. 2023)

2 Replies to “‘The military put me on the straight and narrow’ – Bill Rutter”

  1. I should have known Bill was military, he is a no nonsense type of guy, and has helped me many times with computer problems.

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