Train2Game News eSports vet joins Operation Supply Drop

Operation Supply DropToday Operation Supply Drop (OSD) announced that Stephen “Snoopeh” Ellis, former professional esports player and Co-Founder of the Esports Player Resource Center, joined their advisory team.

OSD is the world’s most generationally relevant support organization for veterans and active duty military. Ellis joins OSD with a focus on reaching more veterans and allies within the esports and gaming communities.

Formerly a professional gamer, Ellis held positions in the industry as team Captain, Player and Manager. Ellis has lived in and competed at the highest level of League of Legends in Asia, Europe and North America. He has additionally served as an advisor to Vibby, Repable and fantasy esports platform Unikrn, where he also served as the VP of Global Business Development. Ellis is a Strategic Partnership Manager at Facebook.

As a member of the OSD advisory team, Ellis will leverage his experience within the esports and gaming communities to advocate for OSD’s multiple veteran support programs, including the Respawn initiative – the promotion of video games as a key component of medical rehabilitation and occupational therapy. As competitive gaming has become a significant source of catharsis for troops, Ellis will facilitate ongoing developments between OSD, key partners and Military facilities to bring esports directly to active-duty personnel.

“My time with veterans and those in active duty has shown me firsthand how gaming can bring people together and keep them connected,” said Ellis. “Operation Supply Drop is a powerful tool for veterans and I’m proud to be a part of this important effort.”

“It’s an honor to add Stephen to the OSD Leadership Team,” said Glenn D. Banton, Sr., CEO of Operation Supply Drop. “I’ve admired his work in the esports world for years as he continues to advocate for further legitimization in the mainstream, and I could not be more excited to have him bring the same drive to veteran support advocation. Stephen will play a key role in the growth of our on-post support, including the development of esports on bases around the globe.”

Train2Game News Operation Supply Drop joining Military and Athletes

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Military charity Operation Supply Drop (OSD) – the world’s most generationally relevant support organization for veterans and active duty military – today announces an exciting partnership with Joint Forces Initiative (JFI) to extend the reach of their “Pro vs. GI Joe” program, developed to connect active-duty military and veterans with pro athletes through fun and competitive video game events.

Launched in 2007 by Greg and Addie Zinone, JFI is a non-profit organization with strong ties to and excellent relationships with sports teams, athletes, and leagues – including the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, NCAA and more – enabling troops all over the world to compete head-to-head against some of their favorite athletes in games such as Madden, Call of Duty, and Halo.

In early 2016, OSD has committed to work closely with JFI to host over thirty offline and online “Pro vs. GI Joe” events for the benefit of veterans and active duty military. This collaboration bolsters OSD’s Thank You Deployments program – where veterans are given VIP insider access and tours of top entertainment events – adding JFI’s highly-successful “Pro vs. GI Joe” events to the experiences available. Both organizations will jointly attend the 2016 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) at a co-branded booth, advocating for and promoting the support of military veterans.

“We’ve been operating JFI for eight years and it works really darn well. But I knew that there was more that could be done,” said Greg Zinone, founder of Joint Forces Initiative and the “Pro vs. GI Joe” program. “With Operation Supply Drop by our side, we’ll be able to provide bigger events, bigger experiences, more one-on-one personal relationships built between our pros and our troops, and more lifelong connections made between our vets. It’s those reasons, combined with the reputation that Operation Supply Drop has established for itself, that we are excited to partner with them. It’s time to make some incredible things happen for our troops!”

“I’ve personally been a long time follower of Joint Forces Initiative, and we’ve been in talks for quite some time about collaborating in a meaningful way,” said Operation Supply Drop CEO Glenn Banton. “Both Operation Supply Drop and Joint Forces Initiative have finally grown to a point where we can effectively form a partnership and collaborate in new, bigger ways. The ‘Pro vs. GI Joe’ program is one example, where video games bring together people for exciting shared experiences.” He adds, “Being able to connect veterans with some of their favorite professional athletes over Call of Duty, Halo, or Madden is a wonderful additional way to give back to our active duty military and veterans.”

Train2Game News Loot Crate and Operation Supply Drop team up

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Loot Crate, the company behind the popular Loot Crate and Level Up monthly subscription services for geeks, gamers and pop culture lovers, is proud to enter its first partnership with military charity Operation Supply Drop (OSD) – the world’s most generationally relevant support organization for veterans and active duty military.

Understanding that the holidays can be especially hard for military members and their families, Loot Crate has donated 2,000 crates, including its new premium Call of Duty®: Black Ops III Limited Edition Crate, for military holiday parties in select U.S. cities and overseas “Supply Drops” (video game themed care packages). Significantly additional Loot Crate donations are planned for 2016.

Loot Crate’s themed mystery boxes contain collectibles, apparel, gadgets, art and other epic gear from the hottest entertainment and consumer product companies in the world, including Star Wars, Disney, Marvel, DC, Star Trek, Nintendo, Hasbro, Mattel, Minecraft and many more. Each month’s theme features a mix of the best in pop culture. Past themes include: Galaxy, Time, Cyber, Heroes, Villains, Unite and more. Each crate includes 4-7 items (many of which are exclusively manufactured for Loot Crate), with an average combined retail value of $45. Most recently, Loot Crate unveiled several new Limited Edition crates to celebrate some of the biggest brands in the world, including Star Wars™, Call of Duty®: Black Ops III, Mass Effect, Fallout 4 and Doctor Who.

“At Loot Crate, we strive every day to curate a collection of products that elicits surprise, joy, and just plain fun,” said Jacob Shin, VP of Marketing at Loot Crate. “Through our new partnership with Operation Supply Drop, we hope to bring that same experience to both veterans and active military, who sacrifice so much for all of us.”

“As a retired veteran and avid gamer, it is amazing to see the support that companies like Loot Crate provide active duty military and veterans globally. We are well aware of how much joy receiving a box of goodies brings to veterans and those deployed in service of their country,” said Ray Whitaker, Chief Operating Officer of Operation Supply Drop. “Having consistently delivered amazing surprises in their crates, this partnership with Loot Crate will allow us to further brighten the days of those recovering from military service related injuries and an invaluable respite to those servicemen and women deployed in high stress environments.”

2,000 Loot Crates have been handed out to military members and their families at seven Operation Supply Drop events through this holiday season. For more information, please visit www.operationsupplydrop.org

Train2Game News Operation Supply Drop rewards soldiers

Operation Supply DropMilitary-themed video game charity Operation Supply Drop proudly announces the first of several new initiatives for 2014, made possible by the overwhelming success of its recent 8-Bit Salute fundraiser: “Thank You Deployment.”

This initiative provides self-sacrificing members of the armed forces an all-expenses-paid VIP trip to select 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, the inaugural recipient of the Thank You Deployment, 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. 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% 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.”

This is a fantastic initiative to help our deserving men and women of the armed forces. Operation Supply drop asks that you share this post to spread the word to help more military personnel.

Train2Game News Operation Supply Drop fundraising

Operation Supply DropToday, military-focused video game charity Operation Supply Drop announced their next major fundraising event, the third annual “8-Bit Salute”, a 24-hour gaming marathon, to be held May 17 – 18, 2014.

Donations raised during this charity event will fund video game care packages, offering much needed diversion and stress-relief to combat-zone deployed troops and those recovering in military hospitals.

Machinima sensation and community favorite Rooster Teeth (creators of the award-winning Red vs Blue series) will actively promote the 8-Bit Salute fundraiser and field a community team to raise awareness and funds.

“Rooster Teeth is excited to continue our involvement with Operation Supply Drop and to grow the partnership to continue to provide assistance to those who dedicate themselves to serving our country,” said Rooter Teeth co-Founder Gus Sorolla. “We look forward to further collaboration and success for years to come.”

Other key partners include gaming juggernaut Wargaming America (World of Tanks, World of Warplanes), developer Naughty Dog (2013 Developer of the Year, The Last of Us) and gaming-headset powerhouse ASTRO Gaming. They have pledged significant donations and will assemble fundraising teams via the Operation Supply Drop website at www.operationsupplydrop.org. There, fans will have a chance to win a variety of great prizes while raising awareness and funds for our troops.

“The feedback, stories and pictures of delighted recipients, deployed in hot spots around the world, and those recovering from combat-related injuries serving us and our country, are testament to how much of a morale boost our supply drops are, as we try to give back to those that risk their lives to defend us and our way of life,” stated Operation Supply Drop Founder Captain Stephen “Shanghai Six” Machuga, a former U.S. Army Ranger and combat veteran. “We are thrilled to have so many partners involved and are confident that this will be the biggest and most successful 8-Bit Salute to date.”