Military-themed video game charity Operation Supply Drop announced several new initiatives for 2014 that are possible because of the strong support it received during its recent 8-Bit Salute fundraiser. The new "Thank You Deployment" initiative was announced, and the goal of it is to send select members of the armed forces on an all-expenses-paid VIP trip to gaming events or tours of game development studios for a rare insider's look at the video game industry.
U.S. Army Specialist Sean Patton is the first recipient of the Thank You Deployment, and will be flown to this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3). Specialist Patton was severely injured while his infantry unit provided suppressive fire for a team of Special Operations when a suicide bomber detonated near his vehicle. Despite being severely wounded, Patton continued to lay down covering fire with his vehicle’s .50 caliber machine gun until the insurgent forces were eliminated. Following several reconstructive surgeries, Specialist Patton is 100 percent mobile, but is in the process of being medically discharged from the U.S. Army. He received a Purple Heart and Silver Star for his heroic actions that day.
"Sean is a lifelong gamer, and we look forward to being able to provide him with this once-in-a-lifetime experience to enjoy E3," said Glenn “Commander” Banton, chief marketing officer for Operation Supply Drop. “There is no way that we can take away the traumatic experience suffered by Specialist Patton on behalf of his country, but we hope that sharing with him the joy and passion so many of us feel in making video games will help ease the trauma and showcase the generosity of those within our industry."
Journalists who want to speak with Patton and companies that want to get involved in the Thank You Deployment program can find more information about it at www.operationsupplydrop.org.