Taking over the position of Clarke County Veterans Affairs Director and General Assistance is Stephanie Rhoads.
Raised in New Virginia, Rhoads attended Clarke Community Schools, graduating in 1997. In June of that same year, she joined the United States Army, and was stationed all over the world - Heidelberg, Germany; Ft. Stewart, Georgia; Seoul, South Korea; Ft. Lewis Washington; Stuttgart, Germany; Ft. Hood Texas; Ft. Bliss, Texas; and Ft. Riley, Kansas. In October of 2018, Rhoads retired; during her 21 year career, Rhoads did four tours in Iraq and two in Bosnia.
Following her retirement from the Army, Rhoads worked for Walmart for three years as a digital operations coach. In that role, she was in charge of all online ordering, from groceries to delivery to general merchandise. She worked at both the Indianola Walmart and the Windsor Heights locations.
She has a son, who is a 2020 graduate of Clarke Community Schools, who is getting ready to enlist in the Space Force. He will go to Lackland Air Force Base in Texas before going to Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, where he will train to be a Space Systems Operator.
When the position of Veterans Affairs Director opened, it was something that Rhoads knew she wanted to apply for.
“I have always enjoyed taking care of soldiers when I was active, [and] when I retired I said I wanted to continue that,” said Rhoads, who looks forward to having the opportunity to care for both veterans and their families.
Rhoads replaced Selena Humphrey, who held the position for several years prior to being elected as Clarke County Recorder in November. With less than two weeks to learn the job before Humphrey moved down the hall to the Recorder’s office, Rhoads had a lot to learn.
“She’s catching on real quick,” said Humphrey, who is still on hand to assist if needed
As Veterans Affair Director, some of the things that Rhoads will assist veterans and their families with are veteran’s claims, widow benefits, pensions, rent assistance, retrieving historical papers - such as medical and military papers - and health care. In the area of General Relief, Rhoads will help in areas such as rent assistance, food, transportations, and utility payments, as well as providing referrals.
Rhoads will also continue on with the food assistance program that has been going on through the Food Bank of Iowa since last year, where anyone who is need of extra food can request a week’s worth of food, with no need to disclose income levels.
“I enjoy serving people, it doesn’t matter who they are or what they do, I enjoy being there and helping people…that’s the most rewarding thing you can do,” said Rhoads.
When it comes to what people should know about her, she said simply,
“I’m generally a happy person, and I’m willing to help anyone out.”
Rhoads is available at the courthouse Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.