PAX East 2019 – Air Assaults Stacking Up in Boston!
It is that time of year again! PAX East is just around the corner and we are getting ready to Stack Up in a big way through our Air Assault program, where we fly disabled and deserving veterans to awesome gamer and geek culture events, just like PAX East in Boston.
This year’s trip is sponsored by an amazing streamer who raised well over the 10k mark in 2018.
Keep reading below to learn about the Veterans joining us this year.
I am a Navy Veteran, I served as a nuclear electrician in the navy from Feb 2012 till Sept 2016. I was in many LGBTQ organizations like outserve and the gay and straight alliance while I served. I was stationed on the U.S.S John C. Stennis. I currently work for Schneider Electric as a field service rep and I stream videogames and host a talk show on twitch on my free time.
Gaming was a way to make friends for me while I was in the military and has been a strong influence in my life ever since I was little. Especially when I was on deployment videogames was a way to escape the reality of being away from friends and family. Out of the military videogames still, allow me to connect with thousands of people and also allow me to entertain people as well.
I was in the US Navy Submarine Service from 1996 to 1999. I had the privilege to serve for three Pacific patrols, and my shipmates and I always had a passion for gaming. I, like many others, left the military with PTSD. Games, streaming sites and the communities that spring up because of them have literally saved my life.
Games are important to me because it gives me the ability to make something other than my problems the priority. I’m a stay at home dad with MS on a fixed income, so there are so many ways to experience limitation – physical, mental, emotional – and that’s what gaming is to me; it’s freedom.
I enlisted in the Army with a 8 year contract (3 active, 5 guard) the day after I turned 18, March 3rd of 2009. As far back as I can remember I knew that the infantry was going to be my path. Even as a kid I can remember watching The Longest Day and Green Berets and just wanting to be a part of it.
It wasn’t until high school that it really hit home what enlisting would mean, but I never second-guessed my decisions, and to this day I would do it the same way even if I went back a million times. I left for BCT in June of 2009 and graduated in October of the same year. I was lucky enough to get a posting for Germany immediately after. After 9 months of training and brotherhood in Germany with Apache Company, 1st Squadron 2nd Stryker Cavalry, we deployed in June of 2010.
I spent a year hiking around Afghanistan with my brothers and came back to Germany finally in June of 2011. I finished out the rest of my active duty contract and came home to the Iowa National Guard in October of 2012 where I stayed until the day after I turned 26, March 3rd of 2017. I’m incredibly glad I went guard because it has allowed me to form a brotherhood with local combat veterans who were in my guard company as well. Currently, I am using the GI bill to pursue a masters degree in business while I look where my career will go next.
Gaming is a huge part of my life, my fiance would likely say too huge a part. When I was in the military gaming was how we unwound. Both in Afghanistan and in Germany, after long days there wasn’t much to do aside from game, and oddly enough it helped strengthen our brotherhood. Today I use video games to stay in contact with my brothers who I haven’t seen since I left Germany. Gaming also provides an escape from reality, when stress builds up I’m able to pretend that I’m in a different world for awhile, and any veteran can attest to the value of that.
Stack Up is honored to be able to give back to these great Veterans through our Air Assault program! We look forward to sharing all the fun and excitement of PAX East with you after the con in our post-convention coverage, so stand by for more and follow us on Twitter for live updates throughout the convention next week!
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!