On Christmas, being a veteran, and keeping strong

Just a letter that I wrote to my fellow students, sometimes its just to let to know that someone is rooting for you. Even if i don't know you.

The holidays and new years is just as much about giving as it is about reflecting on memories long past.

In another life I was Specialist Matthew Little of the US Army. I went to many countries and saw many things. One thing in particular stays with me to this day. Right before Christmas of 2007 I was stationed in Afghanistan. While touring the country with my trusty camera I came to a Forward Operating Base in the middle of nowhere. On this base, US Soldiers lived in burned out buildings patched up to make livable by the loosest definition possible. There was one room on this FOB that was for a word, more lively then all the rest. That was the room with the X-box 360.

Soldiers would return from patrol, dirty, smelly, tired, and hungry. They would clean themselves store their gear, and eat all the while looking very exhausted. Then something magical happened. They walked into the room with the X-box. I say magic because I don’t really know what to call it. Men who looked in their 30’s looked 20 again. Frowns went to smiles, and for a second players forgot what was outside that room.
One day I was there I heard something strange coming from the magic room. It was cries and shouts of anger. When I went to go see what was wrong I found that the room was full of soldiers huddle around the X-box, the red ring of death had claimed it. After that the soldiers seemed to lose a little bit of pep in their step. That X-box had become a beacon to them.

Now I bring this up so that we can all take a look at what the video game industry means as a whole. It is not just soldiers that draw joy and inspiration from games. Look at your own experiences and see how sometimes Video Games have helped either you or other people get through unpleasant times. Remember what wither you are a designer, programmer, artist, or anyone who is part of a video games creation, you are part of the great experience that millions of people the world over enjoy.

Take pride in what you do. To my fellow students who feel like they are tired and don’t want to go on, keep in there. When you see an opportunity to cut corners: don’t, and when you feel like sometimes what you do does not matter remember what you are a part of. Be proud to be following your dreams, be proud of your work, and be proud of yourself. You may not know it now, but people you have never even met are counting on you.

Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays to my fellow students at the LA Film School, and to gamers, and those involved with video games the across the globe.

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