WATCH | Houston Father Finds Hope by Helping Veterans

Joel Bautista is a loving father, devoted husband and proud veteran. However, his transition from the Marine Corps to civilian life didn’t come without challenges. The Texan found himself diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) following his service. The PTSD threatened to derail Bautista’s personal and professional success when he returned to his hometown of Houston. Fortunately, he found himself.  Bautista is now helping other veterans access life-changing resources at the non-profit Combined Arms. Take a look at his inspirational story. 👇

PTSD is described as an anxiety disorder stemming from a traumatic experience. It’s normal for those with PTSD to experience upsetting memories, feel on edge or have trouble falling asleep.  The United States Department of Veteran Affairs reports PTSD is more common for veterans. Seven out of 10 veterans will experience PTSD at some point in their lives. That number increases for Operation Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom veterans. Nearly one in three will experience PTSD at some point in their life.

“I tried to neglect the world as much as I could,” Bautista said. “I even isolated myself from my family. I just wanted everything to be on pause.”

Bautista’s real-life perspective about PTSD and those startling government numbers illustrate the incredible need for a robust network of veteran-serving organizations found in Combined Arms. Bautista now serves as the organization’s outreach coordinator – a role he’s flourishing in.

“We’re a one-stop shop for veterans,” Bautista said. “We have over 1,200 resources with 300 legit non-profit organizations – every need and resource that a veteran would need to help transition through life.”

Front of Combined Arms building
Combined Arms is headquartered on McKinney Street in Houston, Texas.

The Combined Arms campus is now one of more than 50 Lift Zones in Greater Houston. The Lift Zone gives veterans free access to high-speed, reliable WiFi which is a necessity in today’s hyper-connected world.

“Veterans have a very special set of needs. It can be very daunting just looking it up online and trying to see what’s available out there,” Southeast Texas Regional Manager for Combined Arms, John Smith said. “Internet is very important. Dealing with the VA, you need internet. Dealing with different applications you need internet. We are very happy and pleased to team up with Comcast to be able to offer the Lift Zone here. We have clients that will come in and hop on the WiFi.”

You can access an interactive map here – showing every Lift Zone across southeast Texas.

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