LA County's Delete the Divide initiative gives 1,000 free laptops to military veterans

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Sunday, January 14, 2024
LA County initiative gives 1,000 free laptops to military veterans
A total of 1,000 free laptops were given to veterans in need as part of L.A. County's Delete the Divide program.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- In a world awash with computers and software and artificial intelligence, the route to success almost always is a trip through the internet. But not everyone is able to get on the web.

"The sheer number of households that don't have internet is astonishing here in Los Angeles County," said Selwyn Hollins of the L.A. County Internal Services Department.

L.A. County officials say about 400,000 households here don't have internet access, and 200,000 don't have a computer at home. But operations like Delete the Divide are working to change that.

"This is our county's effort to really kind of delete the divide and get everybody access to technology and the internet," said Jim Zenner of the L.A. County Department of Military and Veteran Affairs.

Delete the Divide - that's the name of the organization doling out free laptops. This time to veterans in need, like Army veteran Monica Nichelson, who was laid off just before Christmas.

"I have a pretty old laptop right now. It feels like there's a squirrel on a treadmill behind it," Nicholson said.

For other veterans, education is the goal. Marine veteran Juan Dominguez is studying to become an electrical engineer.

"Opportunities like this relieve some of those expenses and essentially provide us with the tools we need to succeed," Dominguez said.

"A lot of classes are online these days so you definitely need a laptop," Navy veteran Devon Cook said.

For this program, Delete the Divide handed out 1,000 of the laptops to veterans from all the branches. The need so great, all of them were claimed within three days.

"I was shocked. I was so excited," said Army Reserve veteran Valette Moore.

And even more people will be just as excited. L.A. County expects to give out 7,500 more laptops to those in need this year.