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Supply Crate – Paul

Today's Supply Crate update came with a bit of a long request, but we hope you'll read about Paul and what made him reach out for a gaming care package. In short, Paul joined the Army as a combat medic, had some physical and mental health problems, and after all was said and done, was medically discharged and wanted a console to help him overcome his feelings of isolation and give him something to look forward to.

I went to college in 2006 only to realize that my career choice, teacher, would not be enough to pay off the amount of student debt I was collecting. I had to make the choice to stop school so I had no idea where my life was going. I realized that I was young enough, healthy enough, and strong enough, that I could now do something I thought was important, serve my country. I was a young adult during 9/11 and the changes of the world that followed, so I felt that I couldn’t just let others carry the weight of my freedom when I was able to help carry that load. If not me, who? If not now, when? So, I joined as a US Army combat medic. I finished my medic training in Fort Sam Houston, and shortly after that, I found out I had bone cancer on my ankle. This was the first time that depression hit me hard and the first time I thought my life was and I decided that I would not be able to be this agent of change I so badly wanted to be, so I decided to take the full amount of pain meds I had and take my own life. However, thanks to my fellow soldiers and help from God, I wasn’t successful and I began to seek help. I was still worried about how cancer would effect me. Thankfully, I was in the Army and they have the best medical technology in the world. Furthermore, I would meet my wife, a fellow combat medic, who had thyroid cancer. After the cancer was eliminated with severe prejudice, I continued on my Army journey, but my wife decided to accept the medical discharge. After a while of kicking butt in the 101st, my commander/NCOs watched me roll my ankle constantly and suggested that I put in for a medboard. I refused, I was there for a purpose and I wanted to become the Sergeant Major of the Army. So, I continued my mission of service with the support of my wife.

However, my body would not allow this and while preparing for Air Assault school and packing our gear for deployment, I suffer a severe ankle injury that was almost a break of my ankle. It was then decided that I needed to be transferred to the Wound Warrior Battalion to facilitate my medical retirement. This was a big shock to my mental health and would lead to my second fight with depression and another attempt at ending my life. This time, I wanted to jump from a bridge, and this time, my wife, my friends, and God would step in and save me again. I went back to school for psychology thanks to the GI bill. I wanted to learn more about my struggles and have yet another way to help others, but this time, also other soldiers. When the process of getting out of the army was all done, I moved to [redacted], home of [redacted] and I was issued a service dog by the VA. However, my troubles didn’t end after my Army service was over. I was trying to do better and finish school, but I was overcome by a heavy sense of loneliness. I had friends now from college, and from the Army, but they were all at least 200 miles away. Even worse was it felt like I was being left behind, anytime I would reach out to my battle buddies, they had other things to do, which is understandable. So, in a moment of weakness and loneliness, I decided to let the darkness back in and I went to step in front of a bus. My service dog did her job and pulled me back. As I sat on the curb, I realized that this was enough and admired myself to the local mental health hospital. I received treatment, got connected to services with the VA, and started really fighting this thing I had going on with my brain. I’m doing better now, I’m back in school and now becoming High School History teacher. My Army service actually is a be if it in this field and I’m starting to see the good I joined the Army hoping to do. However, my loneliness is still intense, I am now 27 and I have no idea how to connect with other people who have no prior service. I hate it. I don’t have any friends or interaction with anyone because I am isolated and feel isolated. I hope I qualify for your service because I think video games will help. I know that in my previous experiences with video games, you get a mission, you get to explore places you can’t get to due to finances or limitations, and regardless of how many miles away your battle buddies are, they are only moments away. I’ve spoken with friends from college who joined other branches and they all experience the same isolation. So to answer the question you asked about how many people will be helped by this program, it will be exponential. Those friends who have games and I’ve been unable to join, we will connect and our interactions will help them, my wife has her own struggles, and it will possibly help strengthen our relationship by gaming together, and it possibly can help me become more social in realize by having people over to play group games. I had a computer I played games on before and an older Xbox, but as you know, technology as left both of those in the dust. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to get another gaming PC, (cost, and speed of technology growth) it just doesn’t seem viable, but maybe if I can get some games from you guys I can save up to get the newest Xbox and finally be on the same level as everyone and start to chip away at this feeling of isolation. If not, I just want to say that I think what you guys are doing is really amazing. Many people say “support the troops” but when it’s time to actually meet a need, or provide direct support, the slogan is all they’ve got. Also, thank you for letting me tell my story to you, getting it out of my head is always helpful.

Thank you very much for not only your service, Paul but for your continued presence here on earth with us. We're glad you are still with us. Paul has endured quite a lot and life has thrown many obstacles in his way. We are proud to support him and as such, we sent him a new Xbox Series X. This gaming care package is the least we could do for Paul.

Here is the picture you requested, would you like more/better pictures?
Is there anything else I can do to express my gratitude to your donors or organization?

Thanks for the photos, Paul. We are happy with just one photo with the recipient and new console. That's enough for us.

As for today's Supply Crate sponsor, EveryoneGames2, a team of volunteers whose goal is to make gaming more accessible for Disabled Gamers, fundraised to sponsor Paul's Supply Crate. They haven't been on in a while but maybe with enough pings, they'll make a return.

We're in the middle of our Memorial Day fundraising push. May is both Mental Health Awareness and Military Appreciation Month and we need your support to fund our programs. Donate, fundraise, or share our links! Let people know about us.

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