Image of Melissa Jackson , Veteran Services.

By Melissa Jackson, LMC Veteran Services Program Coordinator

When it comes to exploring a future during and after military service, LMC’s Veterans Resources Center (VRC) is the place to start. The center helps military-connected students access the programs and benefits they need to achieve their degree or technical and career training goals.

More than 650 military-connected students applied to LMC this academic year. Annually, VRC staff serve about half that number, which include veterans, veterans’ dependents, reservists, National Guard members, and active-duty service members or their dependents, which represent the fastest growing group using Veterans’ Services.

As coordinator of the VRC, I can say our most successful students ask questions and reach out to peers, family, and our staff. Martin Pizano, an Army veteran who served as an infantryman, is the second in his family to attend LMC and use our services. Pizano, who went to Airborne Ranger School, is now a fire technology major who aims to be a firefighter and smoke jumper. He credits his brother for guiding him to the VRC because, “If you have questions, they always answer.”

Nursing major and veteran Navy hospital corpsman and certified surgical technician, Yajayra Romero, said she learned about LMC’s Veterans Services from a classmate and received technical assistance with her G.I. Bill and academic counseling from counselors who know VA requirements.

“I heard a lot of good things about LMC’s Nursing Program – that it was supportive with strong instructors, and was merit-based,” Romero said, adding that she was accepted to the University of California San Francisco but chose LMC for its veteran support services and academic counseling.

LMC’s Veterans Services helps with priority registration for veterans, state and federal education benefits, parking permits, and more.

Salomae Trujillo de Torres, a dependent spouse of a disabled Army veteran, said she always wanted to go to college and came to LMC thanks to the state CalVet Dependents Fee Waiver and federal Dependents Education Assistance.

“I came to LMC because it was small and close to home, and my granddaughter recommended it,” Trujillo de Torres said. “The supports that helped me the most have been the computer and technical assistance and counseling. The patient and encouraging staff answered questions I didn’t know I had, and I got all my supplies.”

Jeff Jones, a veteran Navy electrician and firefighter, is using federal Veteran Readiness & Employment education benefits for a degree in engineering. LMC offers more than 90 programs of study, including: nursing, basic law enforcement, business, computer science, engineering, fire technology, administration of justice, liberal arts, automotive technology, biology, psychology, welding technology, electrical/instrumentation technology, and process technology.

Contact Melissa Jackson at [email protected].