My First Supply Drop with My New Family
This past week, our team travelled to Ft. Hood for a pre-deployment video game supply drop for some guys that were about to go down range. This would mark my very first drop with my new family I’ve gained since joining the Operation Supply Drop team. We had two separate missions for the drop.
- Engage with the 3rd Cavalry Regiment on Ft. Hood, and fill their pockets with a ton of video game equipment, games, and swag.
- Network with the local Military Treatment Facilities Occupational Therapy program to see how we can best fill their needs through Respawn
As we approached the post, I actually started to have a bit of anxiety as this marked the first time since I’ve been discharge from the Army that I would be back in the world I so dearly miss. We were greeted by a senior NCO and a 1LT who were very kind and thankful for why we were there that day. They immediately wanted to show their thanks by presenting us with gifts from their Regiment. A regimental Belt Buckle, their Jäger patch and also a Jäger sticker. All very significant symbols that represent their unit and mindset. Any time I receive something like this, it really means way more than words that I can share. It almost serves as a kind of an informal “adoption” paper that states that I’m now a member of their team. The traditions of the Military are some of the things I miss the most.
As we were getting escorted on the base, my mind was quiet. I had just a few things that were shuffling through my head. The biggest one was “Man……I really miss this.” I thought about how these guys were gearing up to deploy soon and that I was jealous of that. Why would I be jealous of these guys that were about to leave their families and go fight for our country? Well, that’s a post for another day. The point here is just that I miss the Army. I miss the uniform and I miss that feeling that I matter in a capacity that is important to our nation.
The actual drop was great. Our CEO, Glenn Banton, had done all the leg work with putting together the package for these guys. Huge tubs of games, systems, tabletops games, peripherals, Gaems cases, and other swag. The leadership brought us all over to the motor pool where we met the rest of their crew for the grand reveal. It was amazing to see the excitement in their eyes when they realized what they were getting. It was interesting to see their faces move from “I wonder what’s in the boxes” to this thrill of seeing that anticipated excitement come to fruition. Right away you could spot the true “nerds” in the bunch who knew how good the actual stuff was they were receiving. It was great to hear things like “Dude! Check it out! They gave us steelseries keyboards and headsets! Do you realize how good these things are?”
After the drop, I wanted to visit the hospital there on base to set up a possible drop for them! If you recall, one of my initiatives is to establish a relationship with all of the Military Treatment Facilities to help optimize their rehab environments with the healing power of video games. I met up with an amazing OT and close friend, Captain Ashley Welsh. She was able to give me a good feel of their specific area of operation and we talked about a potential for a drop for them. Look for that story to come out in the upcoming months!
My heart was full that day because It gave me a chance to feel like I still had ties to the identity that has defined me for the past twenty years. I love that I can do this for our heroes in a capacity will heal and build bonds with our brothers in arms. I’ve definitely chosen the right organization to team up with. Very excited about the incredible things that we’re going to bring this generation of Veterans.