“Honoring the sacrifices many have made for our country in the name of freedom and democracy is the very foundation of Veterans Day.” – Charles B. Rangel
Veterans, the word speaks volumes to us. They fought for us; they struggled for us, suffered for us. A veteran is a person who gives their lives for the betterment of a country. Now, I’m not saying they died for us, however, they sacrificed holidays, seeing their child’s first steps, or hearing the first words. They missed anniversaries, and birthdays, all to stand the line and be on duty. Honor, Respect, and Devotion to Duty; I had those words drilled in my head from boot camp. People every day are missing out on moments others take for granted.
Now, what does this have to do with gaming? Well I can tell you, on those cold, miserable duty days, or underway, some of the best ways for us to escape being in the middle of the ocean, or not being near family on Christmas day (my duty holiday of choice), we played video games, often and for as long as we could.
I remember taking the PS2 down to the boat, and it was amazing, because we all of a sudden had a DVD player on the boat, along with watching my old Machinery Technician 2nd class Jared McGary scream at the TV while playing God of War. I brought the PS3 down on longer trips, and we would play MGS 4, or sports games; we had bets going. A fellow non-rate and I would bet on NCAA Football and Madden games all day, every day. We would watch Senior Chief enjoy playing baseball games, and laugh as we had tournaments based around video games.
Video games helped us as a family, and we were a family on that boat. The USCGC Pendant, a small, but strong cutter, was where I learned that family didn’t have to be blood, and video games helped that. I trusted them with my life, and they with me. We continued to be a strong unit, and could do anything and everything without saying a word. We knew how to work as a team, we knew what others liked.
Video games for veterans, soldiers, sailors, airmen, are one of the best mediums for working as a team. It helps us get our frustrations out, they help us to have fun out in the middle of the ocean, or underway for several times of the year. There are wonderful groups out there for veterans and soldiers to help them get there game on. I suggest you look at donating to them, as they can help when soldiers lay down on the dirt of Afghanistan, or are out in the Atlantic Ocean. (Look below for links)
The best thing about gaming and veterans is how we are still a close nit group after we leave. My best friend Smitty and I still debate video games to this day, even with him living 3500 miles from me, or how I’ve met friends through video gaming because we have that family bond. We might give each other shit, and we do, but we are a brotherhood. We are Sisters and Brothers in Arms, forever, and always.
http://www.veterans-gaming.com/ is a place you can go, and meet other veterans to play with.
http://www.operationsupplydrop.org/ is place you can go to donate and help soldiers get their game on. They are always looking for ways to reach out to the soldiers, and are one of the best charities for helping soldiers. Just give them a little bit if you can afford it. They are not just giving to the U.S.A. but also to all alliance forces.
Now, remember to thank a veteran, buy them a beer, and show them respect, not only today, but every day.
And to all my veteran brothers and sisters out there, find me on PSN at casey5934, and come play some good ole games with me. Remember, we are all one. Semper Paratus (Always Ready).
Once a soldier, always a soldier! Veterans!