Rodney McKinnon, a WSMR employee, right, gets a tablet from Gloria Caldero, left, who works for Outreach Program Services of America.

Tablets for Veterans

U.S. veterans who qualify can receive a computer tablet with free internet connectivity for a one-time small fee to help them access services.

The ASAP office hosted the Installation and Community Resources Collaboration with a representative from the Federal Benefit Program, Affordable Connectivity Program, for Service-Connected Veterans Feb. 22 at the Professional Development Center Building 465.

ACP is a Federal Communications Commission benefit program that helps ensure qualifying households can afford the broadband they need for work, school, healthcare, and more. 

The intent of the visit was to reach out to veterans and if eligible for ACP, provide them information and assistance in obtaining the ACP benefit. 

Gloria Caldero, who works for Outreach Program Services of America, said she usually stops by WSMR once a month to offer the benefit to veterans.

“We are here offering veterans who qualify for free internet and a computer tablet for a one-time cash payment of $11,” Caldero said. “This is part of a government program called the Affordable Connectivity Program.”

She said veterans can use their tablets for several things, to include downloading the My HealtheVet app onto the tablet and be able to do telehealth appointments directly from their tablets. The tablets have their own standalone internet and a front and rear camera on it so they can do appointments with their doctors without having to leave their homes.

They can also refill prescriptions and make appointments through the app and use the tablet for anything else they need.

“The primary goal for us is to make sure the veterans know that this program is available.”

The ACP has the program listed under the veteran’s pension and survivors’ benefits program.

Rodney McKinnon, a WSMR employee, was one of the veterans who stopped by the ASAP office to pick up a tablet and enroll.

“For ACP to allow accessibility to our nation’s veterans is outstanding, it is a much-needed service,” McKinnon said.

Considering that internet connectivity in New Mexico is not very good he said this is a blessing.

Jessica Williams, LMSW, Army Substance Abuse Prevention Specialist, with the Employee Assistance Program, said that as with any program, there are qualifications that must be met.  For a tablet device with free (T-Mobile) Nationwide Network, individuals can check pre-qualifications at

The ACP resource can assist with those who may experience a crisis by allowing them to get help. The 988 Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones.  This program may require the applicant to show proof of identification and or veteran status.

By Miriam Rodriguez

WSMR Public Affairs