The Stack-Up team had the opportunity to do one of our Live Fire events with Wounded Warrior Project (WWP)Headquarters in Florida to show them just what Stack-Up is all about, and we had an amazing turnout. People drove from hours away to attend the Jacksonville event; many of them had been WWP Alums for awhile, but the opportunity to try Oculus Rift virtual reality as well as play some of the latest and greatest as far as console gaming goes was too much of a siren call for a lot of these guys.
Fortunately, in what would have been a Herculean effort for our team to pull off, a rugged team of volunteers on their way to GuardianCon in Tampa, Florida, took a quick detour to help get everything set up and run smoothly. Big thanks to Dave Crouse and his team, driving all the way down from Connecticut to help…and to go to GuardianCon.
We were able to spend some time showing off all the gear to the new CEO of Wounded Warrior itself, former Army Lieutenant General (that’s a three star general, by the by) Michael Linnington. As we were setting up the gear before the brunt of the alums showed up, he stopped by to try out virtual reality for himself. As many non-gamers, it took him a little while to get the hang of it, but he was definitely blown away by the experience and understood why today’s troopers would be driving in to take part in the event.
We also managed to meet one of our latest and more unique Redshirts at the event, Marine Lieutenant Charlie “Quadcapable” Merritt. Charlie was a newer volunteer to the team before the Stack-Up event occurred, so we were not sure what to make of him until we got to meet him. We were able to get him on our Twitch livestream and chat with him about his time in the Marines, his injuries that left him quadriplegic, and we got to check out some of the gear he uses to continue to play games using a specially designed controller attached to a spit tube. It was fairly amazing to watch him running around in Doom on the console by simply nudging, blowing, or spitting into the tube.
Overall, the event was a success, and many of the veterans were bouncing from consoles and back to VR headsets when they became available. Wounded Warrior is starting to recognize that Stack-Up has the ability we have to speak to “post 9-11” veterans in a way that that usual fishing/hunting/hiking trips can’t. We look forward getting the opportunity to do more with Wounded Warrior in the future!