Imagine that moment you will never forget with your child where you truly connected playing a video game for the first time. For some people this might seem silly or unimportant but for a Dads Gaming (DADS) Member hopefully it’s a special memory. My daughter is young, but once she realized for the first time that her favorite Disney princess was on the screen and she was controlling her with her own two hands it was game over from there. My daughter is young, and my son too young to care, at this point, but she does love the gaming time she gets with dad. Now fast forward a few years and life choices to the potential day that she signs over her paperwork to fight for her rights and the rights of her loved ones. Take in that moment when maybe your own child went off to war or perhaps you left, yourself.
Gaming is a refuge for many people, and this is no different for those who fight and have fought for our freedoms.
Whether it was you, your spouse, child, or another friend or family member, everyone has someone you care about that is a veteran of the armed services. Growing up gaming was a refuge for me. I sank many hours into classic games that fed my imagination and entertained my childlike heart. As I have grown older, my taste in games has changed, but just as I have connected with my daughter all over again over gaming, so have many men and women who fight for our freedoms. For them also there is sweet comfort in the sound of the imperial march, the soundtrack to their favorite sports game, or the voice of their favorite character. Gaming is a refuge for many people, and this is no different for those who fight and have fought for our freedoms. In many ways they are limited by sharing their experiences with others, and finding ways to connect with people when they come home from combat or domestic service.
Meet Gray Hogan
To find out more about what it means to deal with connecting back to the world outside of military service after that season of life has passed, I spoke with Operation Supply Drop Representative Gray Hogan. Growing up as a gamer, Gray like many of us, found a home in the gaming community. He played many of the same classics you and I did growing up, but his first splash into the online gaming community came with the introduction of Halo 2. Gray served in the navy from 1995-1998 with honor before being medically discharged after a significant back injury saving a fellow soldier’s life during a seizure in a hospital stateside. After his injury, Gray admitted to feeling shame for his time in the military. He wasn’t ashamed of his voluntary acts, or the standards by which he served, rather he was ashamed of something entirely out of his control and what he would later describe as unfounded. He felt great guilt for not having served and been deployed during a time of war. When people would mention being a veteran and ask of anyone else in the room was, Gray would often hesitate to respond affirmatively because of his lack of combat. Thanks to a healthy support system back home, Gray was able to get the help he needed and heal from his self induced hurt.
“MAKING FUN WHERE THERE IS NONE”
Gray is now passionate about making sure no other veterans who experience hurt of any kind go through what he went through. This is the message of Operation Supply Drop (OSD). As a veteran service organization their motto is: “Making fun where there is none.” Support groups are a necessity to ensure that those who are on the battlefield waiting to come home, or stateside recovering from their time of service. They build valiant men and women who have bravely served our country. OSD has teamed up with men and women across the country to ensure that individuals like Gray have a support group that can plug them back in with their hometown they fought to preserve. Men and women like you and me, or our daughters and sons are depending on us to unite them over the same things we taught them growing up. This is where the real vision of OSD and DADS meets.
Operation Supply Drop’s Threefold Vision
OSD has a threefold vision of how to reach veterans both overseas in active duty and those whose boots are already on the ground. These three areas are “Teams”, “Thank you deployments”, and “Supply Drops” which you have most likely already heard about.
OSD Threefold Vision:
- Thank you deployments
- Supply Drops
Teams are local groups of individuals spread throughout the country that exist for the sole purpose of connecting vets back to their community. They range any where from simple backyard barbecues to larger events like major sporting events. All of the events designed around teams are to build relationships which will help vets reintegrate and gain the skills they need to succeed back home.
Thank You deployments are one in a lifetime opportunities for veterans or individuals who have helped in the community in an outstanding way. This once in a lifetime VIP treatment has been a hit according to OSD and is a great way to recognize outstanding individuals. If you would like to nominate someone in your life whom you feel deserves the honor, please visit this page to nominate a veteran for a VIP experience:.
Supply drops are support packages sent to service men and women who are either fighting overseas or back home. These drops have been anything as simple as swag from gaming companies to entire gaming consoles with mobile setups. While supply drops are the most visible part of what OSD has done in the past, the people at OSD want to focus on the future as well. Two large parts of their future are the Teams and the Thank You Deployments.
Celebrate Military Appreciation Month with Operation Supply Drop and Dads Gaming
The only question that’s left for us now is, “How can Dads Gaming be involved?” I’m so glad you asked. We are thrilled to announce that during the week of May 2nd through May 9th Dads Gaming will be teaming up with Operation Supply Drop all week long in celebrating Military Appreciation Month! That’s right gentlemen and ladies. Your favorite Dads and a few special guests will be doing their level best to bring as much attention as humanly possible to all that OSD is doing for our deserving service men and women. OSD has made it perfectly clear to us that money isn’t everything. Money doesn’t buy support for those who are coming or who have already come home, relationships do. The best way to forge those relationships is through raising awareness. We might not have the deepest pocket books, but when we set our minds to it Dads can accomplish anything.
May 2nd through May 9th Dads Gaming will be teaming up with Operation Supply Drop all week long
Here’s how you can help:
- Stream during our 7-day Dads Gaming guest spot with OSD! - Apply
- Moderate for our Dads Gaming streamers - Apply
- Join our online game lobby or chat stream for some fun, and share stories about someone you know in the armed forces
If you are a member of Dads Gaming and would be interested in streaming during the week we partner with OSD please fill out this form http://dadsgaming.com/apply/. Our community managers will comb through the applications and get back to those who have been selected to represent Dads Gaming.
If you do not have streaming capabilities, have no fear for you are of great use to the cause! If you’re anything like me, then your internet is far too weak to produce a decent stream, that’s okay because we will still need a great deal of help in other areas. If you would be interested in playing games with our streamers, moderating a chat, or just filing the lobby with conversation, please let us know through any of our social media platforms!
So there you have it! We can made a difference in the lives of the most important people defending our country. We might not all know what it is like to fight on the battlefield, but we all know someone who has, whether it was a child, a spouse, or a dear friend, everyone is affected. Why not offer up our small part in this big plan to bring proper awareness to a great organization in Operation Supply Drop?
Operation Supply Drop Inbound with Dads Gaming
Meet our Stream Team for Operation Supply Drop 2016