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Air Assaults – Stacking Up at SXSW with Chive Charities!

Air Assaults

Get ready Austin, the Red Shirts are coming for South by Southwest Gaming 2018 and we are bringing along some amazing veterans to be a part of our VIP Air Assault experience on the show floor! SXSW is a new addition to our Air Assault program and was made possible thanks to an amazing grant from Chive Charities.

Thanks to their gift of $25,000, we are able to Stack Up with our Air Assaults in Austin and allow these four amazing veterans an opportunity to experience everything SXSW has to offer.

But that’s not all…

We have also been invited to bring these troopers out for a tour of theCHIVE HQ!

With that in mind, we went to work looking for a few deserving veterans who were also pretty big fans of theCHIVE to join us in Austin. Keep on reading to learn a bit more about the Air Assaults who will be joining us for SXSW and hear what gaming means to them.


Joseph James Irrthum

Favorite Video Game Franchises/Studios/Publishers:

  1. Metal Gear Solid

  2. Destiny

  3. Horizon: Zero Down

  4. Tomb Raider

My Name is Sgt Joe Irrthum and I am with the Minnesota Army National Guard. I first enlisted in the Military on Oct. 25th, 2003 and went to Basic Training at Ft Leonard Wood Missouri and AIT at Ft Sill Oklahoma. I enlisted in as a 13C Tactical Automated Fire Control Systems Specialist but now I am serving as a 13F Forward Observer. 

I have deployed twice to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom with my first deployment being a total of 22 months long with 16 of that in the Country of Iraq. My unit holds the record for the longest time spent in country with the 34th ID. I am currently still serving in the MN National Guard to this day.

Gaming was a big part of when we were overseas. I was running convoys or providing security for the Civil Affairs team while overseas and when we would get back to post it was something easy and simple to unwind with. 

We had a LAN going with about 15 of us around the time HALO 2 came out we would just play into the night when we could. In my normal civilian life gaming is just my thing that I like to do. Others go see movies or read books, I play video games. It puts you into a world that is fun and entertaining.


Nathan Stephen Ramsay

Favorite Video Game Franchises/Studios/Publishers:

  1. Call Of Duty

I joined the United States Marine Corps in June of 2005 During my time in I was a KC-130J Loadmaster and also was assigned to a Police Transition team. Deploying twice once to Fallujah and another time to Al Asad Airbase. I was Medically Retired in November of 2013.

I am currently very active in the local community through veterans outreach and through the Chive Community. Gaming has always been a way to just relax and zone out. During my deployments or training, gaming was a way to decompress and really be normal for a little while.

It was something that was the same from back home. Playing some Madden or COD with a Rip It, couldn’t beat that after a long patrol or a hot day.


Ben McCall

Favorite Video Game Franchises/Studios/Publishers:

  1. Wargaming

  2. Bethesda

  3. Witcher

  4. BioShock

  5. World of Tanks

  6. Riot/LoL

  7. GoW

  8. UbiSoft

  9. Elder Scrolls Series

  10. Final Fantasy Series.

I served in the Marines from 97-01 with a year in delayed entry program. Ready and willing my sophomore year to join, I started as a Msg Operator (2542) and Double MOS’d into System and computer administration (4066) After getting out I struggled to progress forward in life and eventually fell deep into depression.

Drugs and alcohol took control and only gaming had the ability to pull me out of the hole and potential suicide. I am now a successful business operator, world traveler, and gaming enthusiast. I now put most of my free-time into streaming, working toward partner and hopefully a fulltime career.

On top of that, I help veterans and military charities raise awareness and hope through my service.

“To dream is to live, to live is to dream, but to live a life without a dream is a life not living…”


Keland Regan

Favorite Video Game Franchises/Studios/Publishers:

  1. NES (The classics, Zelda, Super Mario Bros);

  2. PS/Xbox (Halo, Madden)

Graduated college and was commissioned as an Ensign in the US Navy in 1997, after attending Surface Warfare Officer School I served aboard four ships in Seattle, San Diego, and Yokosuka, Japan.

The second half of my career was spent as a combat advisor/trainer, mostly deployed to the Middle East. Retired after my last deployment as Deputy Director of Current Operations for FIFTH Fleet (CENTCOM) in August 2017; currently working in IT as a Configuration Management team lead for a small business in Virginia.

Gaming brings people together, from playing with my brother and friends when I was younger to playing with the guys on deployment to blow off steam and wind down after a mission. As I got older it was a way to show the young guys who worked for me that I was not some old dude who didn’t know anything, especially when they got dominated in Madden. Now I mostly play the classics, guess I’m old school as well as old.


Stack-Up is honored to be able to give back to these great Veterans through our Air Assault program! We can not thank Chive Charities enough for their generous gift that has allowed us to expand this program and provide new opportunities to share our mission.

If you would like to find out more about how you can help us support Veterans through our Air Assault program, or would like to know more about our other programs and how to get involved click on the banner below and Stack Up with us!

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