Comcast’s commitment to the military community runs deep, stemming from the company’s founder, Ralph Roberts, who served in the Navy during World War II. Over the decades, many influential leaders within Comcast have come from military backgrounds, and the company has made a concerted effort to support and engage with this community.

About seven years ago, Comcast established its Military and Veteran Affairs team, whose role is to work across the organization to find ways to engage with military customers, viewers, and employees. In the past seven years alone, Comcast has hired over 21,000 veterans, National Guard members, reservists, and military spouses across the enterprise.

To further demonstrate its appreciation for the military community, Comcast recently announced its new Xfinity military customer benefits program. This program offers eligible military customers a $180 virtual prepaid card, a free Xfinity Mobile line for a year, and automatic placement in the company’s top-tier Diamond Rewards status, which includes perks like free access to Peacock Premium.

Sean Casey, a member of Comcast’s Military and Veteran Affairs team, explains the company’s holistic approach to supporting the military community: “We really try to look at it from a holistic perspective and so with this year, with military appreciation month coming up, we thought it would be the perfect time for us to announce our new Xfinity military customer benefits.”

The Aviators: Honoring the Bonds of Military Service

Comcast’s commitment to the military community also extends to its creative endeavors, such as the production of the short film “The Aviators.” This film was inspired by the deep bonds that form between service members who have served together, and it showcases the power of technology to help veterans reconnect with their past experiences and each other.

The idea for the film came from Comcast’s advertising partner, Goodby Silverstein & Partners. The creative director’s father, a former pilot, had fond memories of his sons using VR headsets to help him relive his flying experiences. This personal connection served as the inspiration for the story that would become “The Aviators.”

To ensure the authenticity of the film, Comcast reached out to veterans, including Bill Moore, a former senior Navy lieutenant who served in Vietnam. Bill, along with his squadron mates Jim Lloyd and Jack Gillette, were reunited on the set of “The Aviators” to lend their expertise and share their personal experiences.

The Vietnam Experience and the Importance of Authenticity

Bill’s recollections of his time serving in Vietnam provide a powerful and sobering perspective on the realities of combat. He describes the constant threat of surface-to-air missile sites and anti-aircraft artillery, which made every flight a harrowing experience. Despite the challenges, Bill and his squadron mates remained dedicated to their mission, with Bill noting that he never volunteered for a mission but completed them all as a senior lieutenant and section leader.

The authenticity of “The Aviators” was of utmost importance to Comcast, as they wanted to ensure that the film resonated with the military community and accurately portrayed their experiences. Sean Casey emphasizes this point, stating, “We really wanted to make sure that this looked and felt real and that’s how we came across Bill and in his peers.”

The Power of Storytelling and Connecting Generations

For Bill, the experience of participating in the film was deeply meaningful, not only for the way he and his fellow veterans were treated with dignity and respect but also for the opportunity to share his story with his family. Bill notes that his sons had never heard his war stories, as families often avoid discussing such experiences during gatherings like Thanksgiving. The film provided a platform for Bill to connect with his sons and grandchildren, allowing them to gain a deeper understanding of his service and the bonds he formed with his squadron mates.

Sean Casey highlights the power of storytelling and how “The Aviators” can help build understanding between generations. By using technology to bring Bill’s experiences to life, the film can foster stronger connections between veterans and their families, as the younger generation is able to see and feel the realities of military service in a more tangible way.

Comcast’s Vision for the Future: Leveraging Technology to Serve Veterans

As Comcast continues to explore the use of technology, such as virtual reality, the company is keeping a close eye on the potential applications for the veteran community. Sean Casey notes that the company is aware of research being conducted by the Department of Veterans Affairs on the therapeutic benefits of VR technology, and Comcast is interested in exploring ways to leverage these advancements to enhance the experiences and accessibility for veterans.

Additionally, Comcast is considering how emerging technologies can be used to assist veterans in practical ways, such as using VR for field maintenance training or to improve accessibility for those with service-connected disabilities. As a media and technology company, Comcast recognizes the importance of ensuring its services and experiences are inclusive and tailored to the needs of the veteran population.

Through initiatives like the Xfinity military customer benefits program and the production of “The Aviators,” Comcast has demonstrated its deep commitment to honoring and supporting the military community. By fostering connections, preserving stories, and exploring innovative technological solutions, Comcast is playing a vital role in recognizing the sacrifices and contributions of our nation’s veterans.