Today's media is technology is helping military drones spot targets in war zones; it's enabling views of the Gulf oil disaster from space; and now it's helped soldiers in Iraq compete against Washington Redskins in a video game bout from halfway around the world.
Washington Redskins take on wounded warriors and deployed servicemembers at the ESPN Zone in Washington. (DoD photo by Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class William Selby) Thanks to the USO and the Wounded Warrior Project, several members of the Washington NFL franchise went downtown to the ESPN Zone restaurant and gaming mecca this week to jam out against soldiers stationed in Basra, Iraq, American Forces Press Service reported.
The event, “Pro vs. GI Joe,” is meant to connect pro athletes with U.S. servicemen and women stationed overseas. Greg and Addie Zinone came up with the idea while Addie, an Army reservist, was deployed to Iraq in 2008, according to the story by Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class William Selby.
“Troops spend a lot of their downtime playing video games overseas,” Addie Zinone told AFPS. “When I told Greg about that, he thought of a way we could kind of give back to the troops [through] playing video games.”
“The USO saw the potential and how much the troops enjoyed it, so they got a brand-new satellite system that now allows us to play anywhere we want to go,” Greg Zinone told AFPS.
In addition to the remote competition, the program gives wounded servicemembers an opportunity to hang out with the pro athletes.
“They are not forgotten about, just because they are no longer in the war zone,” Ryan J. Lampke, a U.S. Marine Corps corporal, who is now medically retired and works for the Wounded Warrior Project, told AFPS. “America is still incredibly grateful for their service and sacrifice, and it’s events like these that show it.”
Redskins defensive end Jeremy Jarmon, grew up in a military household and said he loves giving back to servicemembers any way he can.
“It means a lot to me to be able to come out here and be able to interact with some of our troops,” he said to AFPS. “Coming from a military family, I know it takes a special type of person to be able to serve over there.”
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