8-Bit Salute to Veterans Brings Video Games to the Troops
For the past two years, the folks over at Operation Supply Drop have been sending out video game-themed care packages to various troops stationed in Afghanistan and Iraq, which have been a source of joy to the troops out there (video games are a universal form of entertainment, after all). This fall, however, Operation Supply Drop will be kicking things up a notch with the advent of “8-Bit Salute to Veterans”, a multi-city event taking place on November 11 (Veteran’s Day), which aims to bring gamers together to help bring even more care packages out to the troops.
Captain Stephen “Shanghai Six” Machuga, a former Army Airborne Ranger, founded Operation Supply Drop in Nov. 2010, after serving for eight years with the US Army, including 13 months in Iraq. An avid video game player himself, Machuga realized that many soldiers who are gamers don’t have access to their favorite form of entertainment, one of the few types of leisure activity permitted in high threat areas of deployment.
“When soldiers aren’t outside the wire on patrol, they’re playing video games,” explains Machuga. “Our packages are an immeasurable morale booster for the soldiers; troops are accustomed to getting care packages from strangers full of baby wipes and socks. Our care packages are designed to blow their socks off.”
Since the charity’s establishment, Operation Supply Drop has raised more than $60,000 in games and gear each with an average value of $2,000 to units deployed in Iraq or Afghanistan.
Four cities have been announced as being home to events on this day, with each event having its own unique happenings to cater to everyone attending. All the current venue information can be found below:
Live music, many game stations throughout the area, game challenges with prizes, raffles as well as a full bar and kitchen. Raffle ticket purchases and donations via ChipIn will go towards Operation Supply Drop. Organizer: Konas Korner and Off Duty Gamers. 6 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Shawn “Kona” Warbiany
Red Carpet entrance with photo ops, 20 different game stations on 55” TVs, three DJs, geek-speed dating, nerf weapon battles, an online-only QuakeLive tournament and a full bar. Play games with special guests, the Charisma+2 models, Mike McFarland (director and voice-over actor for Dragonball Z, One piece and Full Metal Alchemist), Alexander Rossi (Formula 1 racer) and executives from id Software, Gearbox Software, Robot Entertainment, Terminal Reality, GameStop and a dozen soldiers who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Lockbox will accept monetary contributions and a box for donated games and hardware on site. Organizer: Charisma +2 . 1 to 9 p.m.
In association with the Los Angeles Film School, and Hollywood production company Shifted2U Productions, Operation Supply Drop will be holding a single elimination Medal of Honor: Warfighter tournament in the Game Lab of the Los Angeles Film School to celebrate student and alumni veterans. The event augments the school’s 3rd Annual Salute, a yearly Veterans Day event held at the campus in Hollywood.
Veteran students and alum from the school will shoot it out for a chance to win a variety of prizes as well as to play side by side with veteran Celebrity Battle Buddies Scott Levy and Michael Broderick (voice and motion-cap actors “Stump” in addition to “Tick” from Medal of Honor: Warfighter), Tyler Grey (military technical advisor for EA Games) as well as Derrick Dockery of the Dallas Cowboys in celebration of Veteran’s Day. Additional celebrity battle buddies for this event will be announced shortly. Organizer: Shifted2U
Multiple game stations, live Music, party photos, raffles and with proceeds of the door going towards Operation Supple Drop. This event will be MCed by MC Death Bear, feature a Hip hop music performance by Modern Shark recording artists Junk Science which will be followed by a chip-tune dance party headlined by Dj Cutman. Organizer: Sick Damage
All in all, this is a great way to send support to the various troops deployed overseas, and really – what’s a better gift than the gift of gaming?