There may not be, as the saying goes, any atheists in foxholes.
But there certainly are plenty of gamers.
A non-profit group is hoping to keep those gamers relaxed between missions by collecting games and systems for deployed U.S. military personnel.
As reported by the Bucks County Courier-Times (in GP’s neck of the woods, actually), Fun For Our Troops was started by military wife Stefanie Doctor Shea. Sgt. Michael Shea, her husband, was recently deployed for a second tour of duty in Iraq. The Sheas are seen in the photo at left, taken on the day Sgt. Shea left for Iraq.
Choosing video games as the focus of her support efforts was far from a random choice. Before her husband shipped out the couple spent a lot of their down time enjoying the Nintendo Wii at Fort Campbell, Kentucky.
Dana Blackman Brady, married to a former Army Ranger, is partnering with Stefanie in the effort to get games to service personnel. She commented:
What [the troops] really appreciate over there are the true comforts of home. The stress relief and the escapism involved in these games, we really think could be beneficial.
We’re hoping to get throughout the year. We don’t want to have [soldiers] wait. We do foresee the issues with Christmas. It’s going to be a crunch for those games.
Although the Defense Department provides no support to such efforts, the women have worked out a plan for getting the games to the troops. Stefanie Doctor Shea described the program:
We are working on an official website which will allow troops to sign themselves up as recipients or family members can sign them up. They will also be able to tell us what, if any, systems they do have so we can donate appropriate games.
Hopefully the site will be up in the next week or so (we have someone donating their services to build the site). We are willing to work with all branches of the military but the recipients themselves must be on a deployment. Our intention is that the equipment we send over will be passed on to troops in the unit that will replace them.
Donations can be made via the group’s website.