Assisting over 200 veterans and their dependents and spouses attending COM, Detra Levige serves those who have served the nation.

“Our goal is to help veterans achieve whatever educational goals they have,” said Detra. “We explain what benefits they may be eligible for. We will help them complete all applications – VA benefits, financial aid and scholarships.”

Besides helping veterans apply for benefits, Detra oversees the COM Veterans Center with resources, a meeting space and computers for veterans. She also advises the Veterans Organization with Adult Education Career Navigator Roger Mora.

“I listen to them if they have problems in classes, issues with the Veterans Association regarding their education benefit or payment to the school. We serve as liaison and get them in the assistance they need,” explained Detra.

She gives students the individual attention that COM professors gave her.

“When I started at COM, I had professors encourage me. It didn’t stop here. My professors pushed me to get two more degrees,” said Detra, who earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in psychology at University of Houston-Clear Lake.

Detra especially offers support to veterans just transitioning out of the military.

“Many of our veterans go off right out of high school and come back 20 years later. Most of them are older. They have families and jobs,” said Detra. “At a community college we’re more hands-on. This is our opportunity to make a difference in their lives as they transition back into civilian life. It’s our chance to say thank you and show that we are here for them.”