Interview with Mia Garcia, Executive Director, Texas Veterans Network at Combined Arms

Staff of Texas Veterans Network at Combined ArmsThrough her work at the Texas Veterans Network at Combined Arms (an IVMF partner), Mia Garcia is making a positive impact on veterans reintegrating back into their communities. Recently, in recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month, the IVMF asked Mia some questions below and here are her responses!

How does Combined Arms work with providers and the community to help our veterans and military families? Any specific requests that occur more than others?

Combined Arms (CAX) is a disruptive backbone organization on a mission to accelerate the impact of veterans and military families, while fundamentally redesigning the military transition process through innovation and collaboration. We streamline the connection between veterans and military-connected individuals and the organizations that serve them, helping our clients not only find needed resources but also connect directly with service providers faster. Combined Arms is now serving 194 counties across the state of Texas via the Texas Veterans Network. Our network of 170+ best-in-class organizations (43 of which are national) offer more than 720 unique resources to veterans and their families. Our top requested resources in 2021 have been employment, financial assistance, VA benefits assistance, mental health, and social connectivity. Our top requested organizations in 2021 are Wounded Warrior Project, NextOp, Mission United North Texas, Texas Veterans Commission, and the Veteran Wellness Alliance.

In recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month, what does it mean to you to work in a Hispanic community? Are there any special events, recognitions, etc.?

Combined Arms has regular programming focused on engaging veterans in Hispanic communities to ensure they are connected to the resources they need to thrive. For the work that we’ve done in the veteran community, in 2020, I was a finalist for the Houston Texans Campeón de la Comunidad Award which honors leaders in the Latino community who are making a positive impact through service and dedication.

What does being of Hispanic Heritage mean to you?

Hispanic Heritage Month is a time to pause and reflect on the history, heritage and contributions of Hispanic Americans of past and present, while honoring their culture. It’s a proud time for me as many of my family members have served in the military. My great uncle served with the 65th Infantry Regiment, “The Borinqueneers,” during the Korean War and since then 12 members of my family have served in various branches of the military.

What does it mean to you to give back to our veteran and military community in Texas?

Combined Arms’ mission is to unite the community to accelerate the impact for veterans. We can ensure that more veterans successfully transition by arming them with the knowledge of the resources that await them in the communities they are returning to before they transition. Transition is difficult! When I separated from the Marine Corps in 2012 nothing like Combined Arms existed. I had no idea where to start nor what resources were available to me. I never want a veteran to be in that position or feel like they have to transition alone. With Combined Arms, I get to be a part of a larger solution that is making it easier for veterans to successfully reintegrate into the communities they are returning to.

If you or a veteran that you know needs any services or resources, please connect them to the Texas Veterans Network today!

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