There are more than 7,000 military and veteran-oriented nonprofit organizations in the United States, covering every veteran need from housing and food security to job placement and mental health.
Some veterans may not know how to go about accessing these resources, others might have multiple issues with which they need assistance. Many may not even know these resources exist.
The way to help every vet facing the multitudes of issues they might be facing, according to Combined Arms, is to bring them together and bring them to the veteran. Combined Arms has brought together non-profit hubs, government agencies, and military and veteran families in a user-friendly interface that does just that.
It’s a non-profit, resource-connecting force multiplier that makes it easier than ever for veterans, transitioning service members, and their families to get the help they need. The platform draws from more than 200 organizations, offering 900-plus social services and connects them to vets in need, often within 72 hours.
Sound too good to be true? Combined Arms put it to work in Texas, where it created the Texas Veterans Network (TVN). Launched in April 2020, the network brought 200 vetted military-oriented organizations and state agencies to address 930 different issues.
Even at the height of the COVID-19 Pandemic, TVN was able to connect 27,300 veterans to 43,800 resources within its first 26 months. TVN proved the Combined Arms model was a successful template that other states could use in supporting their transitioning service members, and it soon spread to South Carolina, Louisiana, Alabama and Florida.
TVN knew the problems faced by their constituents, because they had transitioned themselves. Since the average response time to connect a veteran was 27 hours, it meant that in little more than a day, Texas veterans were able to address their most pressing issues.
The best part of the program was not only that it helps veterans with things like career services, help getting their VA benefits and rent or mortgage assistance, it was that 75% of the TVN staffers were veterans themselves. They are veterans helping veterans in a meaningful, authentic, and sustainable way.
Getting help from Combined Arms is a simple, five-step process. First, go to the Combined Arms website and create a profile. Then request the services needed. As vets choose their resources, a list of organizations auto-populates. Once selected, the organization gets an alert that you need their help and they reach out.
By step four, the veteran is getting the requested help they need from the alerted organization. Step five is a simple feedback session, where both client and organization take a survey to judge the result of the connection.
The Texas pilot program returned some promising results. More than half of the participants who requested financial assistance were also connected to financial workshops and career assistance. 44% of those who requested food assistance were also connected to financial assistance.
Veterans who requested multiple career-oriented resources, not only received interview coaching, resume writing, and mentorship, some also got help procuring the professional attire needed to land sustainable employment. Nearly 6,000 veterans were helped in finding employment, landing an average starting salary of $68,310.
Those who needed mental health services not only received the help they needed, but also got physical health resources and fitness resources as well.
In 2022, Combined Arms conducted its own research and analysis on its efforts and discovered their services had a significant impact on the quality of life for Texas veterans. This includes mental and physical well-being, fulfilling employment, and general happiness and productivity.
There’s no need for veterans to wait for their individual states to adopt a veteran program of their own under the Combined Arms model. Anyone in need of connecting to a resource can create a profile right now.
To learn more about Combined Arms, visit the About Us section of their website. Veterans who are ready to start addressing their most pressing needs can click on the link above. Anyone, including vets who don’t need to be connected to resources and civilians who want to help solve the most urgent need facing military veterans in America, can donate to the Combined Arms effort.