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PC Vetrofit Crate – Emily

A photograph of Emily in Air Force uniform standing in front of an American flag. She is wearing a blue cap, and light blue button up blouse.
Meet Emily.

Our PC Vetrofit program doesn't get as much attention as some of our other programs, so this crate update is a little different than our norm. However, we have helped a great number of veterans by getting them fitted up with a new PC built by us and a few individuals who put together new PCs and donate them to this program to get sent out to Veterans who apply.

This month is Mental Health Awareness and Military Appreciation Month and this PC Vetrofit Crate relates to both subjects rather heavily. This might also be one of our longest updates, as recipient Emily had so much to tell us about herself and her journey through life. It's a pretty great story if we do say so ourselves. She's been through a lot, but she has also found strength, positivity, and accomplished so much for herself. We truly appreciate everything she has shared with us. We'll let her tell you all about it:

I am a 100% Service Connected/Disabled US Air Force Veteran, and married to a Disabled US Navy Veteran as well! I have a 12-year-old son and a 9-year-old son that both LOVE playing video games. I am currently 32 years old and my life up until now has been a complete journey. I entered the military as a senior in high school. I went to my basic training shortly after I graduated and wound up being honorably discharged after experiencing a trauma in the military. After I came home, I suffered from a lot of anxiety, depression, and PTSD because of this trauma, but I didn’t share it with anyone. I wound up turning to drugs and struggled for about 6 years before I was able to get the help I desperately needed. I never went to the VA after I got out of the military. I didn’t even really know that I could go to the VA. When my addiction became so bad that I was homeless, without my children, and completely hopeless, someone pointed me in the direction of the VA, where I was able to receive intense inpatient treatment for not only my drug addiction, but for all of the mental health issues and traumas that I have struggled with for all these years. The VA saved my life, literally, it saved my life. Since going to the VA, my life has changed immensely. I got sober there in August 2016, and I’ve been sober ever since. I turned my life around completely. I made my children my first priority, I met my now-husband, and we started building a life together to be proud of. I have worked SO hard these past few years to become a person that my family and myself could be proud of. I purchased my first car, we were able to rent a beautiful home for our family, I have worked diligently to fix my horrible credit in hopes to someday be a homeowner, and through all of this, I also worked incredibly hard on becoming the best person that I can be.
We struggled with our relationship for some time while I learned how to live with my trauma, PTSD, mental health issues, and addiction in a healthy way. We have come so far together, we had a beautiful, small and intimate wedding this past July! And now after all of that, we are finally in the process of buying our first home using a VA home loan! I am so incredibly proud of myself for taking the horrible situation I was in and turning it into a huge success story. I forgot to add that I also started my dream of going to college last year. This fall will be the start of my second year in college as I work on my bachelor's in Health Science. It is my dream to be a nurse practitioner down the road. Life isn’t always easy though. As great as things are now, we still struggle, I still struggle. There are times I fall into a depressive funk for a day, or maybe a week, or more. There are still times that I struggle with anxiety, especially in crowded places, or in places with people I don’t know. I still have to work through my PTSD and the traumas that have happened in the military, and when I was using. It can be really difficult sometimes to stay strong through it all.

I have recently started playing video games as a way to not only help relieve stress, but as a way to communicate with people where I can feel comfortable doing so, and as a way for me to bond with my family. My whole family plays video games - my husband, and my sons all love to play, especially Fortnite! So I started playing as well, but I have been dreaming of having a gaming PC! It is something that I would absolutely treasure and cherish and be grateful to have! Me being the mom of the family, my gaming needs come last. The kids' gaming needs always come first, then my husband, and then I pretty much take what I can get from there. It would be amazing to have something of my own to jumpstart my personal gaming adventure! I have been through so much, but I have taken that experience and used it to my advantage. I turned it all into something positive! I love to help people and animals. My dog and two cats are all rescues from the same shelter in Philadelphia (ACCT Philly), and they make me and my family so happy. It was pretty hard to summarize my story here, I hope I did an alright job.
I learned of this charity when I was watching Celebrity Family Feud. I saw Ninja was on the episode that was recorded on my DVR, so I had to watch just because my son watches him and so I watch him as well of course! Anyway, I saw this was the charity that he chose to play for (and he won!), so I looked you guys up and saw what you do and was instantly amazed and so overjoyed. I think that video games are a powerful tool for people like me - I struggle with anxiety, social situations are difficult for me and I have a hard time meeting people and making friends because I’m so socially awkward. Playing a game like Fortnite gives me the ability to talk to people without the anxiety I am faced with from being face to face with them. I also love being able to do something that my sons love to do. It gives us something to talk about, something to bond over, and I get brownie points for being the cool mom that plays video games! (According to my 9 years old! LOL) anyway, whether I’m chosen or not, I want to thank you for all that you’re doing for us Veterans and Active Duty Service Members! It always feels great knowing that there are people out there that care about those who have served and understand the different personal struggles that many of us face on a daily basis. Take care!

Thanks, Emily for telling us all of this. We're glad you got to where you are now with your life, your mental health, and your family. Congratulations on the wedding, the house and we hope you do well in college. When you finish college, be sure to tag us in a post, we want to share your success. For all of your struggles and your journey to get here, a brand new PC is probably such a small thing in comparison, but we're happy to get one out to you.

If anyone reading is curious about the Ninja on Family Feud event in 2019, we've got a link to an article on Family Feud's own blog here.

Hi! Sorry it took a few days for me to get back to you, I have been so busy with my husband's medical care, my kids' schoolwork, and the end of my fall college semester. Things have finally settled down and I was able to get some pictures with my PC, which is incredible by the way! Seriously, I am grateful and feel so blessed to have been gifted this amazing PC. My kids think I’m the coolest mom, which is pretty amazing as well 😂
Thanks again and I hope you have a great holiday! If you need anything else from me, please reach out 🙂

This PC Vetrofit Crate was part of our end-of-year 100 Heroes for 2020. Thanks to all of the fundraising that gets done during our Call to Arms, we're able to get Supply Crates and PC Vetrofit Crates out to veterans like Emily. Thanks especially to NotFabTV, who sponsored this crate. Keep doing what you are all out there doing and continue to be fabulous, or not fab if you like. (Excuse us, we couldn't help the pun.)

Want to help Stack Up out by volunteering, fundraising, or donating? Learn all the different ways you can make a difference to veterans and active military alike through gaming and gaming communities by clicking on the red button below.

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