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Get to know our MSAC Members
Paul Peter Mendes 67'
Paul Peter Mendes, 75, completed his earthly tour of duty, and passed peacefully August 21st of 2019 at his home in The Woodlands, TX. Paul was born in New York City and spent his youth in Highlands, New Jersey. The son of Vincent Joseph Mendes and Kathleen Kavookjian Mendes, he was preceded in death by both his parents, his two younger brothers Haik and Thomas Mendes and is survived by his loving wife of fifty years, Charlotte Knight Mendes; daughter Laura Kathleen Mendes, son Paul Peter Mendes Jr., brother Vincent J. Mendes Jr., two grandchildren and four nieces and nephews.
A childhood on the Shrewsbury River made young Paul an accomplished boater and he and his brothers used their smarts and skill to out maneuver and torment the local marine police. Devising intricate “escape strategies” to jump sandbars or maneuver deftly across underwater anchor cables, it was clear from an early age that he possessed a tactical mind. After graduating high school Paul attended Sam Houston State University where he received his degree in Photoengraving with a minor in Photography, and later completing his master’s degree in public service administration. Paul was a proud member of the ROTC at Sam Houston and accepted his first commission directly out of college spending the next ten years in the U.S. Army 5th Group Special Forces, commonly known as the Green Berets. He served three tours in Vietnam, and was on one of the last choppers out after Saigon fell. Paul volunteered to return to Vietnam with JCRC (Joint Casualty Resolution Center) to recover soldiers missing in action and had a passion for bringing his fellow soldiers’ home.
Once his final tour in Vietnam was complete, Paul continued his career in Military Intelligence and was stationed around the globe rising to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and serving as Head Quarters Commandant at Fort Lewis until he retired from the military in 1993.
He received many commendations for his military excellence including four Bronze Stars with citations for valor, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal, three Overseas Service Medals, four Army Commendation Medals including another citation for valor. Was awarded the Humanitarian Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal twice, Joint Service Commendation Medal, American Campaign Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross, Air Assault Badge, Combat Infantry Badge, Master Parachutist Badge, and Sharpshooter qualifications for both pistol and rifle.
He was truly a man in the service of his fellow men and sought an opportunity that allowed him to transition from serving his country to serving his community. He began a second career in City Management and was most recently at The City of Magnolia, where he served as the beloved (by most) City Administrator running the day to day operations of the city. His staff were his second family and Paul often referred to them lovingly as his as his "troops."
Paul was a devoted family man, who married the love of his life and was a doting father who was so dependable that his cell phone was nicknamed the "bat phone" because no matter what the time or where he was he always answered it and was there, anywhere you needed him, as quickly as humanly possible. He delighted in spoiling his granddaughters Kaeley and Hannah, and nothing made him smile more than their happiness. A consummate animal lover, there was never a stray that he didn't assist and loved his own pets dearly.
Beyond being a decorated officer, a beloved father, grandfather, and pet whisperer he was also an accomplished scuba diver, pilot, sailor, horseman, marksman, skier, and an impressive raconteur. He could entertain for hours with stories of his life experiences and had such an impressive catalog of adventures that it seemed he never told the same story twice. Paul was a renaissance man in every sense of the word and we had so much left to learn from him. We will miss him terribly and will honor him every day in our memories.
About The MSAC
The Military Science Alumni Club (MSAC) officially came into being on July 26, 2013, when the Alumni Association Board of Directors approved the charter petition for the club. Made up primarily of former military officers, all having been in the Army ROTC Program at Sam Houston State University, the club is open to anyone who completed at least one semester of the military science curriculum at the University, is a spouse of someone who has done so, or has been recognized by the club for his or her military science education or participation during their lifetime.
The primary mission of the Military Science Club is to provide scholarship, financial, and leadership support to the Military Science Department of the University, working closely with the Professor of Military Science, the Military Science cadre, and the student members of the Bearkat Battalion. Informally formed several years ago, the group has provided scholarships to deserving cadets each semester for more than a decade. The scholarship is named after Army Captain Rowdy J. Inman, Class of 2000, who was killed in Iraq in 2007, while leading his men in combat. Captain Inman was the first Military Science graduate of Sam Houston killed in the War on Terror.
There is a social side to the new club as it brings together so many old friends from times past who met at Sam Houston and developed life-long friendships and associations based on the shared experiences of the Bearkat Corps of Cadets, student life at the University and their military experiences. Periodically, the group gathers informally to share memories and catch up with one another, family and friends.
The Military Science Alumni Club is literally international in its reach, with members currently living throughout the Unites States, Central and Eastern Europe, and in other parts of the world. The club leadership is dedicated to growing the club into a significant, contributing member of the Alumni Association.
Anyone interested in helping support the Bearkat Battalion by joining MSAC can email the club directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Those already associated with the regional clubs of the Alumni Association are encouraged to associate with the Military Science Alumni Club as no additional dues are required.
If you would like to receive communication about Military Science Club events,
please email email@example.com.