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stacking up with the wounded warrior project in pittsburgh


This past Saturday, August 27th saw what the Pittsburgh Stack hopes is the first of many amazing events with the folks from Wounded Warrior Project and their Alumni. It was a fantastic night of gaming, storytelling, and comradery shared among the glow of our shared hobby, Video Games.

The event took place at the Wounded Warrior Pittsburgh HQ located in One Oxford Center, a building that fills a distinctive place in the Pittsburgh skyline and is notable for being designed to allow for as many corner offices as possible. The WWP staff and alumni welcomed our Pittsburgh Stack with open arms as we arrived for our event and we had a moment to get introduced and take a quick look around the office before everyone settled in.

Though most of the technical set-up for the evening had been done prior, we took a quick moment to go over the XBox Ones supplied by Dirtfish Rally School, the Gaems cases, and the Plantronics headsets to make sure everything was ready for our evening of gaming bliss. This is where the magic first started to happen as it was quickly apparent that the WWP Alumni in attendance knew their stuff when it came to their digital entertainment. Minor problems were quickly troubleshot in a group effort, and we were ready to game on.


Before we really got into it though, we paused for some chow and partook in some fantastic local BBQ. During the meal, the staff from Wounded Warrior Project took the time to fill us in on more of their programs and how they help veterans through their work. They, in turn, took the time to listen as Stack-Up founder Steve Machuga talked about our own organization and how we help our service members through gaming.


After a quick clean up, it was finally time to have some fun. We fired up the Stack-Up Twitch stream and simply went to town playing some of the WWP Alumni’s favorite games. Many of the veterans in attendance took time to share their stories of how gaming has helped them through some of the darker times.

It was truly a humbling experience that reinforced what Stack-Up is all about, bringing great people, veterans and civilians, together over gaming, providing an outlet and an environment where conversation can flourish, and healing can happen.

If you missed the action and would like a glimpse into this wonderful evening, make sure to check out the Twitch Broadcast below.

As the night went on many games were played and friendships formed. There was a lot of fun to be had by all, but there was also a lot of serious talk and understanding. Sometimes in order to help someone all you have to do is listen and provide the right outlet. One of the WWP reps in attendance even remarked: “We’ve been inviting this one alumni to events for years, but this was the first one he actually attended!”


Gaming allows many of us to connect and open up in a way that is almost impossible through any other method. Time and time again throughout the evening the common thread of simply needing an escape or the bond that can form while playing games became a recurring theme. For those of us in the Pittsburgh Stack, it was an honor and a privilege to spend such a fantastic evening with the amazing Staff and Alumni of Wounded Warrior Project.

To see Stack-Up in action first-hand in an environment such as this was a sight to behold. It reminds us of our mission and why we do what we do. It was humbling to see the therapeutic effects of gaming in person and to be a part of it.


With the event a rousing success for both of our groups involved we look forward to the opportunity to once again Stack Up with the folks from Wounded Warrior Project. If you would like to be a part of this in the future and are in the Steel City area, make sure to check out the Pittsburgh Stack. Not in Pittsburgh? Not to worry, we have local stacks all over the country just look at this LINK HERE for more information.

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