By Mike Schindler

It was April 4, 1975, when Microsoft was founded, and shortly after, Paul Allen and Bill Gates set the goal of a computer on every desk and in every home. In Bill’s words, “It was a bold idea, and a lot of people thought we were out of our minds to imagine it was possible.”

We aren’t there yet – but we are getting closer. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, fewer than 10 percent of households are without an internet subscription, which suggests many Americans have some form of access to “staying connected.” But not all – and some of those who have yet to gain access to the technology are those who have selflessly served our country.

In an increasingly digital world, bridging the digital divide for veterans has become a paramount mission at Operation Military Family for the coming year and beyond. This endeavor’s impact reaches far beyond providing access to technology—it’s about empowering veterans, ensuring they are not left behind in the fast-paced digital landscape.

Impact on Veterans in 2024

As we look ahead to the impact on veterans in the coming year, it’s clear that technology plays an ever-expanding role in various aspects of their lives. From accessing essential services to pursuing education and employment opportunities, the digital realm is integral. Veterans who are digitally literate can seamlessly transition into civilian life, finding new career paths, connecting with support networks, and accessing healthcare resources efficiently.

In 2023, Operation Military Family, in partnership with Comcast, provided almost 300 laptops and educational services to at-risk and in-need military/veteran families so they could “stay connected” in this fast-moving, ever-changing digital world. The impact will be evident in the ability of veterans to navigate the digital world with confidence. Online platforms will facilitate communication, job searches, and access to critical resources, creating a sense of connectivity and belonging. This digital empowerment can also contribute to veterans’ mental health and well-being as they engage in virtual communities and support networks.

Long-Term Partnerships for Lasting Impact

The importance of long-term partnerships between corporate entities, such as Comcast, and organizations dedicated to veterans’ well-being, such as Operation Military Family, cannot be overstated. These partnerships extend beyond short-term initiatives, fostering sustained support that can truly make a difference.

Operation Military Family, known for its commitment to assisting veterans in their transition to civilian life, understands the value of enduring partnerships. Corporate partners can contribute not only financial resources but also expertise, mentorship, and access to cutting-edge technologies. Over several years, these partnerships can evolve, adapting to the changing needs of veterans and the advancing digital landscape.

Sustained collaborations enable organizations to implement comprehensive programs that address a spectrum of challenges veterans face. This includes providing access to technology and offering training programs, mentorship opportunities, and ongoing support. These multifaceted initiatives are more likely to have a lasting impact, ensuring that veterans are equipped with digital tools and empowered to leverage them effectively in the long run.

Digital Equity for Veterans Over 50

While digital access is crucial for all veterans, special attention must be given to those aged 50 and above. As the world increasingly relies on technology, older veterans may face unique challenges adapting to the digital landscape. Digital equity, in this context, means ensuring that veterans of all ages have the skills and resources to participate fully in the digital society.

For veterans over 50, digital literacy programs become paramount. These initiatives should be tailored to address specific needs and challenges older individuals face, considering factors such as unfamiliarity with technology, potential physical limitations, and a diverse range of comfort levels with digital platforms.

Moreover, focusing on digital equity for older veterans is not just a matter of necessity; it’s a matter of honoring their service and ensuring that they are not excluded from the benefits of the digital age. It’s about fostering a sense of inclusion and belonging in the rapidly evolving technological landscape.

Bottom line, get involved. Whether it be as a mentor or a funder, bridging the digital divide for veterans in 2024 and beyond is a multifaceted mission with wide-ranging implications. The impact on veterans’ lives is immediate and sets the stage for their long-term success and well-being. Through enduring partnerships and a commitment to digital equity, we can ensure that veterans, regardless of age, are equipped with the tools and knowledge they need to thrive in this fast-changing, complex digital era.


Mike Schindler is the founder of Operation Military Family, a 501c3 nonprofit, and an Executive Producer, screenwriter, and writer for several national publications. His “Prepare, Plan, & Execute with Purpose and Passion” has helped well over 10,000 military/veteran families realize their true mission, purpose, and identity in life, leading to happier families and more solid financial standings. Mike has authored three acclaimed books and hosts the popular military podcast “The Military Wire.”