Outside of Walter Reed National Military Hospital

The first of our six “8-Bit Salute to Veterans” Veteran’s Day care packages has arrived at its home!

With the advent of Operation Supply Drop‘s third year in business (whoa), and tracking $130,000 in donations since its inception (WHOA), we decided that it might be time to mix things up a bit.  While our military gaming charity will continue to raise funds and physical donations for soldiers deployed to Afghanistan, our campaign in Afghanistan has to come to a close some day.  So, it’s best to diversify our efforts now so Operation Supply Drop is not caught flatfooted come 2014 when we hand the country back over to the insurgents….I mean, “locals” (and then proceed to watch the place fall back into the hands of the Taliban; ah, irony).

ANYWAY, in the spirit of this diversification, one of our six Veteran’s Day video game stuffed care packages (totaling $23000 in games and gear) was headed to our new liaison partner at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (pictured above), one of the largest points of return for soldiers who are injured in Afghanistan.  It’s here where an injured soldier begins their long hard road to recovery.

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On the way to the rehab center. That hand truck was $50 well spent, by the way.

As I’m an hour down the road from Walter Reed, I decided to play hookey from work and hand deliver the package myself (it wasn’t ALL altruistic, I was also playing hookey to get in some more Far Cry 3 as well), and was treated to a real eye opener.  I’d been around injured soldiers before, but never to that density.  Dozens of soldiers with 1-3 prosthetic limbs filled the rehab center where I made my delivery, to give you some idea, this picture was snapped in a room holding onto limbs being used by soldiers in the clinic at the time I was visiting.  Notice the shoes on the prosthetics; each one belongs to a different injured soldier:

There was also a serious level of gallows humor going on in the halls; I saw multiple shirts on soldiers making light of their situation.  One shirt read “I Had a Blast in Afghanistan!” likely someone who lost a limb to a roadside IED, while another read “You think I look bad, you should see the other guy!”.  The deputy chief of the wing reached into the care package box and saw a Left 4 Dead hat, and not understanding that it was a game about a zombie apocalypse, said, “Oh, the guys are going to love these hats.”  O_O

Due to concerns with privacy issues, I wasn’t allowed to jump in there and snap a bunch of pictures of the guys, but I did get a picture of the day room where I dropped the care package off.

And here’s what the care package had in it, which is being distributed among the patients there at a Christmas party next week!

1 x 250 GB Xbox 360 Consoles   
1 x Forza 4
x Max Payne 3
1 x LA Noire
1 x Bully
1 x Red Dead Redemption Undead Nightmare
1 x Grand Theft Auto Episodes from Liberty City
1 x copies of Game Informer

1 x autographed headshots of Miss October 2012 and “gamer girl” Pamela Horton

1 x G155 15” All-in-One Monitor Cases

1 x Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3
1 x Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2
x Call of Duty Black Ops
1 x Blur 
1 x Spiderman Edge of Time
1 x Spiderman Friend or Foe
1 x Spiderman Shattered Dimensions
1 x Call of Duty Elite Beer Cozies
1 x Call of Duty Elite Grenade Keychain
10 x Call of Duty Elite Stickers
3 x Call of Duty Elite Vinyl Patches
1 x Call of Duty Elite Thumbdrives
1 x Call of Duty Elite Stainless Steel Waterbottles

1 x Portal 2
x Left 4 Dead 2
1 x Left 4 Dead
1 x The Orange Box
2 x Evil Controller 360 Controllers
1 x SteelSeries 360 Gaming Headset
4 x Team Fortress 2 shirts
2 x Portal 2 Stainless Steel Waterbottles
3 x Team Fortress 2 Posters
1 x Team Fortress 2Mouse Pads
1 x Left 4 Dead 2 Mouse Pads
6 x Left 4 Dead ballhats

1 x Resident Evil Operation Raccoon City
1 x Street Fighter vs. Tekken
1 x Resident Evil 5 (PS3)
1 x Dead Rising 2: Off the Record (PS3)
1 x Asura’s Wrath (PS3)

1 x Game Capture HD Capture Cards

Adhesive Games:
12 x Hawken Shirts

1 x Plantronics X40 Xbox 360 Headsets

Wizards of the Coast:
2 x Magic the Gathering Booster Packs 
1 x Magic the Gathering Core Set 
1 x Magic the Gathering Battle Booster Packs 
11 x Magic the Gathering t-shirts

Microsoft Stores:
1 x Halo 4
1 x Xbox 360 Wireless 360 Controllers
1 x Gears of War Triple Pack
1 x Madden 13
1 x Ghost Recon Future Soldier
1 x Call of Duty 3
5 x Microsoft Call of Duty/Halo Dog Tags

Electronic Arts:
1 x Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2013
1 x Madden 12
1 x Fight Night Champion
1 x SSX
1 x Battlefield 3
1 x Battlefield 3 Limited Edition
1 x Shadows of the Damned (PS3)
1 x Skate 3 (PS3)
1 x Need for Speed The Run (PS3)
1 x Kingdoms of Amalur Reckoning (PS3)
1 x Alice: Madness Returns (PS3)
1 x Battlefield 3 (PS3)
1 x Dragon Age Origins (PC)
1 x Dragon Age Origins Awakenings (PC)
1 x Alice Madness Returns (PC)
1 x Battlefield Bad Company 2 (PC)

Riot Games:
5 x $25 League of Legends Riot Points Cards
5 x League of Legends Full Metal Rammus Skin Cards

Double Fine:
1 x Brutal Legend (PS3)
1 x Scenes from Psychonauts DVD

2K Games/Gearbox Studios:
1 x Duke Nukem Forever
1 x Borderlands 2
1 x Darkness 2

Charisma Plus 2:
1 x Gamer Model/Booth Babe Calendars

Harmonix/Reverb Communications
1 x Rock Band Beatles Full Kit
1 x Rock Band Metal Track Pack
1 x Rock Band Fender Bass replica 
1 x Rock Band Beatles Rickenbacher Guitar replicas
1 x Naughty Bear Gold Edition (PS3)
1 x Rango (PS3)

1 x Elder Scrolls 5 Skyrim
1 x Elder Scrolls 5 Skyrim Shirts

1 x GameCapture HD Capture Card

4 x FPSFreek Infinity thumbsticks

1 x Tropico 3
1 x Tropico 4
1 x Tropico 4 (PC)
1 x Dungeons: The Dark Lord (PC)

Epic Games:
1 x Gears of War 3 (three signed copies!)

1 x Darksiders 2 sweatshirts
1 x Darksiders 2 (PC)

PDP (Performance Designed Products):
3 x Rock Candy Wired 360 controllers

Ranger Coffee:
1 x Ranger Coffee packs

Gamer Grub:
6 x PBJ Gamer Grub Pax

Total Care Package Value (based on Amazon pricing): $3602

So, five more care packages currently floating around the ether and shortly arriving at their destination in Afghanistan, being distributed for the first time by a battlefield circulation unit, so we’re hoping to get some serious photos and videos back from the units receiving them.  Stay tuned here for more details!

Unlike some organizations, we don’t stop when Veterans Day was over; we’re a 24/7/365 operation over here at Operation Supply Drop when it comes to supporting the Armed Forces.  Therefore, it’s not time to rest on our laurels yet, we’re gearing up for our second annual Holiday push, Santa Actual 2, where we push out a care package a week through Christmas!  If you’d like to help out, here are four ways you can donate:

1) Use the Chipin link on the front of Front Towards Gamer.com.  OR
2) Use the Chipin link on the front page of Operation Supply Drop.org.  OR
3) Make a Paypal donation to donations@operationsupplydrop.org.
4) If you don’t want to send cash, you can simply send your used games or gear to the following address to make the next care package:

Operation Supply Drop
9301 Alvyn Lake Circle
Bristow VA, 20136

You know, and even if you can’t donate, just help get the word out on Twitter, Facebook, and other various social media links!  You help out and it costs you nothing but a few seconds of your time!