Many people much wiser and braver than myself have described life in the military as - we’re paraphrasing here - unendurable boredom punctuated by moments of sheer terror. A Marine friend spent the better part of the 2003 Iraq invasion sitting outside in the Kuwaiti desert heat, smoking cigarettes and watching Disney DVDs. That’s not to say that sitting around in wartime is fun - the 130-degree heat, constant preparedness and the knowledge your life could end any minute takes a major physical and mental toll, even if you’re watching The Lion King while puffing on a Marlboro.
EA Sports recognizes this, and has decided to do something pretty cool about it - giving advance copies of Madden 2010 to a group of submariners deploying just before the game’s August 14 release date. As far as supporting our troops, this beats the hell out of a magnetic made-in-China ribbon.
If life in the desert during the Iraq invasion seemed isolated, stressful and, yes, boring, it’s almost unimaginable to think of the life of submarine personnel during a long deployment at sea. As GAMEDAY365.COM wrote:
Unfortunately for a few Tailgate365.com members, [August 14] comes after they leave on deployment with no connection to the outside world. See, these guys live on a submarine for months at a time, protecting our rights. Rights to keep on playing Madden till our fingers hurt and our eyes cry for sleep. These sailors, with not much to do, literally under water, spend all of their time eating, working, sleeping and of course, gaming.
But thanks to EA Sports and their commitment to our troops, they will get underway with a copy of the latest version of Madden.
Good on you, EA Sports. According to friends and acquaintances in the military, the little and all-too-infrequent snippets of normality they get to experience (video games, normal food, emails, etc.) are the things that help keep them grounded during a very non-normal period of time.
Anyone who wants to do the same by sending small, everyday, much-needed items to our troops abroad is encouraged to contact Operation Shoebox or similar organizations specializing in supporting the military with items from back home.