Ret. U.S. Army Sgt. Derek Kolb served his country for nearly nine years and now as president of the Lone Star College-CyFair Student Veteran’s Association, he is helping educate fellow veterans.
Kolb, president of the Student Veteran’s Association, is spearheading the annual Veteran’s Forum on Aug. 24 at LSC-CyFair in the Center for Academic and Student Affairs building.
Wounded by an improvised explosive device while serving in Iraq, Kolb has undergone 25 surgeries on his legs. He’s also had to deal with post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury.
After coming back from Iraq, Kolb enrolled at LSC-CyFair with the long-term goal of pursuing a doctorate in psychology. Kolb said he hopes to become a clinical psychologist counseling other PTSD veterans.
“I started planning this event, because it is in my nature to help others,” said Kolb, forum organizer. “Call it my mission, but I want help veterans to give them information, whether that be on Lone Star College or on just how to get through the night.
“This event is going to be the first of its kind with top-notch information from several different sources including Wounded Warrior Project, Regional Department of Veteran Affairs, as well as school administrators and different physicians all promoting the importance of education and the gratefulness of a proud nation,” said Kolb.
Among the forum guest speakers are Ret. Col. Dr. Thomas Parr, Pastor David Maulsby with PTSD Foundation of America, Veterans Affairs Psychologist Dr. Justin Springer, Jim Roos with Wounded Warrior Project and Texas Rep. Allen Fletcher.
Attendees will learn about benefits for returning veterans and their families as well as counseling, advising and financial resources for student veterans available at LSC-CyFair and other Lone Star College campuses.
As Student Veteran’s Association president, Kolb’s goal during his term – and the purpose of this forum — is to provide information about benefits and resources available for veterans to help them be successful and avoid some of the issues he faced.
“Everyone is invited and encouraged to attend, including family members and dependents of veterans,” said Kolb. “I want every veteran to succeed.”
LSCS offers its veteran students Veteran’s Affairs education benefits counseling, separate veteran academic advisors on each campus, career services, partnerships with the Texas Veterans Commission, and student veteran centers and student veteran groups on each campus.
The Student Veteran’s Association works to inform veterans and their families of their rights and benefits, provide social opportunities in a supportive, fraternal environment, facilitate mentoring relationships, advocate for their needs, and assist new and returning student veterans with their successful integration into the academic environment.
In addition, LSCS is participating in the College Credit for Heroes program, launched by Gov. Rick Perry last July, which seeks to maximize college credits awarded to active military members and veterans for their military experience. The program has developed streamlined degree paths and workforce certificates to expedite the transition into the Texas workforce.
LSCS has also been named to the 2012 Military Friendly School list by the G.I. Jobs Military Friendly Schools® team and to the 2012 “25 Colleges with Incredible Veteran Support” list by Best Colleges Online.
The Veteran’s Forum will be held from 9:45 a.m. to noon Friday, Aug. 24 in CASA Room 110 on the campus at 9191 Barker Cypress.
For information, contact Kolb at 832.868.5326 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.