JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (Aug 10, 2017) – Video games brought warriors into a virtual world in Jacksonville as veterans charity Stack-Up teamed with Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) for a night filled with friendly competition, food, and fellowship. Stack-Up is a charity organization that brings veterans and civilian supporters together through a shared love of video gaming.
“Wounded Warrior Project provided me with the tools needed to be a functional veteran,” said Air Force veteran Julio Quinones. “They’ve done some very big things in my life – so when I heard they were hosting a game night, that intrigued me. I wouldn’t call myself a gamer, but I’m really interested in technology.”
For many veterans, the experiences they had in the military were some of the best of their lives, filled with camaraderie, meaning, and direction. But upon the return to civilian life, isolation can be one of the most significant struggles wounded warriors deal with. That’s why WWP and Stack-Up have hosted several game nights at WWP offices to provide bonding opportunities that extend beyond a single gathering.
“I’m always nervous about meeting new people, but when I saw the guys from the Peer Support Group I’m part of were going to attend, I was sold,” Julio said. “Getting around those guys and spending some time with the staff allowed me to stay calm and really enjoy the event.”
Oculus virtual reality headsets were among the video game consoles spread across the room where the warriors gathered. Julio spent a large part of the evening trying a virtual reality experience.
“It was incredible, like nothing I’ve ever tried before,” Julio said. “Stepping back and watching the other warriors put on the headsets and try it out was hilarious. When you’re in the game, you completely lose track of the outside world, but watching the others play the game, there’s nothing graceful about it. We had some good laughs seeing each other flailing around.”
WWP program gatherings offer settings that provide opportunities for injured veterans to form bonds. The programs assist injured veterans with mental health, physical health and wellness, career and benefits counseling, connecting warriors with one another and their communities, and long-term care for the most seriously wounded.
“I saw guys who were completely happy and having a good time without the daily living distractions,” Julio said. “They were able to focus on playing the games. That’s something warriors like me need to find time to do more often. Wounded Warrior Project does a good job setting these events up for us, and they will go the extra mile to assist any veterans. They will make you feel alive.”
To learn and see more about how WWP’s programs and services connect, serve, and empower wounded warriors, visit http://newsroom.woundedwarriorproject.org, and click on multimedia.
Contact: Mattison Brooks – Public Relations
About Wounded Warrior Project
Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) connects, serves, and empowers wounded warriors. Read more at http://newsroom.woundedwarriorproject.org/about-us.