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Smith County Veteran Services Office

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Veteran Services Officer Michael Roark

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Michael Roark is from Chapel Hill, graduated from Robert E. Lee High School and was a Wills Point Police Officer before serving in the National Guard. He went on active duty in 1988, serving as a paratrooper in the U.S. Army, and serving in Operation Just Cause in Panama, before he was medically retired in 1992.

After his military service, Roark moved to Sweden from 1995 to 2012, where he served as a lieutenant for the Swedish National Prisons Bureau, and a K-9 handler.

He moved back to Tyler in 2012, and began working as an Assistant Veterans Service Officer for Smith County. In 2014, Mike took over as Veterans Service Officer and as the Veterans Court Program Director.

Purpose and Duties

The purpose of the Smith County Veteran Services Office is to assist veterans and their survivors and help them deal with the often confusing and overwhelming task of completing the correct forms/applications and collecting the appropriate documentation to support a claim for benefits. Veteran Services Officers interview and advise clients on entitlements; help in filing service connected disability claims; answer and research inquiries regarding medical, educational, home loans and other benefits; assist clients in completing federal and state forms and in filing appeals with the U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs. They also serve as a liaison with veterans' organizations and ensure compliance with all federal and state laws.

Veterans Assisting Veterans

The Smith County Veteran Services Office is not part of the Department of Veterans Affairs. The staff is certified and/or accredited by Texas Veterans Commission with cooperation from the Regional Veterans Affairs Office. The staff consists of veterans who served this country with honor. The staff engages in multiple trainings conducted by Texas Veterans Commission, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and other recognized organizations throughout the year. We are advocates established by the authority of Chapter 434 of the Texas Government Code. We are paid for from taxpayer funds by the Smith County, not the federal government. There is no fee for services provided by this office. Generally, no individual or organization may charge a fee for help with filing an initial application for benefits. The exception to this rule is under the third-party exemption of 38 CFR § 14.636 (d).
By the authority of Chapter 434 of the Texas Government Code, the Smith County Commissioners Court established the Veteran Services Office as an office of advocacy to assist veterans and/or their survivors in obtaining entitled benefits from the U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the State of Texas. The Veteran Services Office cooperates with local government agencies as well as non-government service agencies to assist clients in obtaining needed specialized services.

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Location

210 E. Ferguson
Tyler, Texas 75702

Phone: (903) 590-2950
Fax: (903) 526-5255

Hours of Operation: 
Monday - Thursday: 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Friday: 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
By appointment only
Friday: 1:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.