In the mid 19th century, London exploded on to the world stage as one of the largest, if not first, true metropolitan city. As the city center grew, it became apparent that a transportation solution was needed. The London Metropolitan Railway was born and then morphed into the London Underground.
Over the next few decades, new tunnels and stations were added. As engineering and technology changed, it was apparent that some of the earlier designs did not match the new needs in speed and safety. Trains and station platforms no longer matched up, creating a safety issue for commuters. The phrase "Mind The Gap" was born and became synonymous with the Underground. It became a polite reminder to everyone that sometimes things don't match up and that they need to be aware of their surroundings.
In the past decade, thousands of military service members have left the military and transitioned into the civilian world. We are years past some of our earliest issues with unemployment, benefits delayed, and underfunded medical care. While these problems still persist, government and non-profit entities have joined up to create solutions in most of these areas.
Unfortunately, the gap still exists.
The main focus for most of these programs and issues has been on military veterans who did not have a clean or successful transition, and are now in need of assistance. Service members came out of the military, ready to start new careers, purchase homes, and join a community that they defended. The reality is that while services were out there, they were disjointed, separated, and not networked. In most cases, service members didn't even know where to start looking for the help they needed.
That is where we are going to make the change. Combined Arms has one goal: to create a successful network and system of resources in Houston for transitioning military veterans. It is not going to be an easy task, but one we are going to take head on. We already have more than 30 organizations and agencies on board, and more in the process of joining.
Over the next few months, we will be building out more technology to help track services and needs in the greater Houston area. Paired with that system will be a coordinated marketing campaign that will reach out to those recently transitioned veterans and service members to let them know that these services exist. This piece will be essential, as it will give awareness of multiple organizations in one coordinated effort.
The gap still exists and every day hundreds of service members hang up the uniform and join the civilian world. In Houston, we are committed to making sure that move is smooth and successful. We will continue to mind the gap and work to bring the resources closer.