Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) in Seattle  is one of the crown jewels in the gaming convention circuit every year, with 80,000 people descending onto the Washington State Convention Center over a long-weekend to see the latest and greatest in gaming for the rest of the year. Through our Thank You Deployment program, Operation Supply Drop makes sure that we’re sending deserving veterans to attend experiences like PAX every year.

This year, our Thank You Deployment recipients were Casey and Jason: Casey suffered injuries during his deployment to Afghanistan, while his friend Jason joined to ensure Casey was able to handle the noise and crowds of the massive gaming convention.

Regarding his injuries sustained in combat Casey said, “In a nutshell, I deployed in 2010 to Afghanistan as a 11B (infantryman). In December, I was in the over-pressure radius of a 2000 lb explosive device that threw me up the side of a mountain and I hit my head. I was very close to several IEDs (improvised explosive devices) and rocket propelled grenades. Took almost daily contact from insurgents and it took a heavy toll on my mind and body.”

Casey was an easy selection for our Thank You Deployment program, so we flew him and his friend Jason out to PAX to join leadership from our Seattle chapter of The Teams for an experience of a lifetime.

Both men, who enjoy plenty of gaming in their free time, had never heard of Penny Arcade Expo before, so their arrival to Seattle and stepping foot on the show floor was definitely an amazing experience for the pair of them. Check out Casey getting hands on time with the Oculus Rift “Touch” controller, something only a handful of people on the show floor we’re able to do!

They also had a variety of experiences laid out for them, such as playing some of the new version of Superfight, which has been translated from the card game and turned into a video game!

We were also able to secure for them a pair of Astro A40 headsets from our friends at Astro!

It goes without saying Casey had an amazing time, and here’s his thank you to Operation Supply Drop! Casey reflected, “Operation Supply Drop sent me to PAX Prime in Seattle, Washington for a Thank You Deployment. It was the best weekend in my life besides my wedding! While I was there I had an the opportunity to play amazing games like Rainbow Six Siege, The Division, Oculus, Project Morpheus and many more. We also got the chance to attend the Twitch’s Pax Prime party which was awesome! I got the chance to meet many streamers and content creators. The entire time while at PAX I was treated like a celebrity. I was pushed to the front of 6 hour lines for games. I was given escorts to move me around the convention center which was a godsend. I had to take many breaks due to my disabilities and that was a huge help. I believe that this has helped with my anxiety by being around so many people at once and having those people there for me when I needed them.”