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Veterans Corner: COM Excited to Help Local Vets

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By Dorothy Meindok

The Post Newspaper Veterans Consultant

Veterans, allow me to introduce you to the crew at the Veterans Office at College of the Mainland (COM).

The COM Veteran Office staff includes many dedicated to helping veterans reach their dreams and when you walk in you will likely be greeted by a happy warm smile from the front office manager Alexandria. As a first point of contact she can get you situated and help you navigate the resources offered in the office, such as:

  • Assistance applying to COM, selecting your career path, and registering for classes.
  • Assistance applying for VA benefits, financial aid, and scholarships.
  • Use of center computers and printer
  • Connections to other veterans’ organizations and resources
  • Free coffee and snacks
  • Study room with television monitors
  • Conference room
  • Certification of benefits

Earlier this year the veteran’s office had a change of command because both long-time COM employees who ran the office retired. The veteran’s office has new leadership to help veterans and dependents with their educational pursuits.

Attorney Laura Schneider joins the Mainland team from an analogous position at San Jacinto College bringing with her a plethora of experience in working with certification and compliance of educational requirements for veterans’ programs. She has worked with many state and federal programs meeting the exacting reporting standards and making sure student veterans receive the benefits they have earned. She is a delightful, passionate administrator and daughter of a veteran whose enthusiasm shows from the minute you meet her. She will serve as COM’s Veteran Officer for all things education where the college accepts and certifies attendance for the following VA benefits: Chapter 30, 31, 33, 35 and 1606; TA from all military branches, and the MyCAA scholarship.

Complimenting the Veteran Office team and providing one and one academic counseling is veteran Claude Hoke the IV. As a third-generation military veteran, he retired after many years in active-duty service followed by active reserves right down the road at Ellington. He prefers to be recognized by his nickname that identified him in childhood and followed throughout his 27 years of military service, “IV” (pronounced like ivy). Continuing the legacy he started while in the military of leading by example and providing mentorship to junior enlisted, Veteran IV is perfectly placed to make greater community impact in helping veterans meet their educational goals as well as represent COM within the veteran community and veteran nonprofit outreach in support of our most vulnerable veteran’s population. Currently he serves on the Executive Board for Operation Honor Our Local Veterans, Inc. (OHOLV) which is a local private foundation under IRS code, section 501(c)(3) that helps support our local veterans***.

Take some time and stop by to say hello and learn more about the educational resources available to veterans of all ages and educational levels. There’s scuttlebutt that maybe some VA claims instructional clinics & tips may be on the list for the future, check into the office often to see how that develops! Here is how to contact the Veteran Office at COM:

OVS Contact Information

Laura Schneider, J.D

Veteran Officer, SCO

lschneider2@com.edu

IV Hoke, MBA

Veteran Academic Advisor, SCO

choke@com.edu

Alexandria Devasier

Administrative Assistant II

adevasier1@com.edu

OVS Office Main Lobby

comvets@com.edu

409-933-8455

Veterans Center

College of the Mainland
Doyle Family Administration Building
Suite 113

Hours of Operation

Monday-Tuesday: 8 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Wednesday-Friday: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

*** OHOLV has an upcoming fundraiser next Saturday, July 29, 2023, at Texas Gun Club, 3270 Gulf Freeway beginning at 11AM. Come out and meet IV and network in the veteran community, eat some BBQ from Team Leija, enjoy perusing American muscle cars, classics & hot-rods including Rebel Relics. All proceeds will benefit Operation Honor Our Local Veterans, Inc. whose nonprofit designation allows donors to exempt up to 30% of any donation that supports veterans right here at home, in Galveston County.

 Dorothy Meindok is The Post Newspaper’s Veterans Consultant. Ms. Meindok served her nation in the United States Navy and is currently a practicing lawyer advocating for our nation’s veterans. Her column appears on Sundays.

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