Inside a nondescript building on Houston’s East End is where heroes uplift heroes. The building is home to Combined Arms— a non-profit organization that helps veterans thrive when they return home by connecting them to hundreds of available resources from their more than 220 partners.
As you can imagine, for some veterans, the place they call home is much different than when they left it– especially when it comes to technology. Mike Hutchings, who leads Combined Arms, said connectivity is key to their mission.
“Connectivity is paramount. I’d say it is integral to the process of being able to connect to any and all earned benefits. These veterans have served and have earned benefits like free healthcare, but being able to get into the system requires connectivity,” Hutchings said. “Partners like Comcast have helped us to be able to make sure people have connectivity. It helps veterans get all of the services that they’ve earned.”
Comcast’s commitment to supporting the military community is deeply rooted in its culture. Hutchings pointed out the company’s partnership with Combined Arms goes back years.
“One of the first major efforts that you helped us with was building a technology lab, so veterans that didn’t have access to computers or WiFi would be able to come to the Combined Arms Center and connect to any and all resources that they need,” Hutchings remembered. “The partnership has only grown tremendously since then.”
For veterans who have a computer at home, connectivity is now more affordable than ever thanks to the new federal Affordable Connectivity Program, ACP. The program gives eligible veterans who receive a pension, up to $30 each month towards their internet bill. Xfinity is a proud partner of the program which is why Comcast Houston’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing Demian Voiles stopped by Combined Arms to raise awareness about the new resource. Voiles presented to their Essential Services Collaboration Committee about the once-in-a-lifetime program and how ACP can help connect families.
“We want to be able to provide connectivity to veterans. Combined Arms provides us a way to connect to these groups in a way that we never could. It’s really a win,” Voiles said. “There is a large group of veterans who don’t have internet access. We know as time goes on … internet access is vital. You need internet to access services that are offered. Without connectivity, you’re kind of in a dark place, a black hole of information. We’re proud to come in and fill that gap.”