Polygon: ‘How gaming in wartime connected soldiers, a father and a son’

Richard Grisham, host of Press Row Podcast, writes for Polygon:

Modern communication technology has made the hardship of deployment easier both for soldier and family, but the close connection in the field still can create an awkward burden. One night, Fields called back to his family at “kind of an emotional time.

“I heard my son talk in the background and he said ‘Dad, I can’t wait for you to come home and be safe’,” Fields said. “It was his concerned voice that told me he was reaching out to try and make a link.

Fields felt the need to “meet him halfway.” He thought back to Call of Duty, and if he could play it with his son when— or if — he returned home.

“I immediately walked up to the battalion aid station because I knew …there was a young kid, one of those guys that wasn’t that guy who’s gonna be in the gym lifting 300 pounds and chewing tobacco, and a ‘man’s man’; he is a little soft-spoken and a lot of people thought that he was a kinda odd,” Fields said.

Still, this odd kid, Spec. Jameson Lindskog, was well known for his skill at Call of Duty. Fields, a 20-year veteran and command sergeant major, approached him.

“I said ‘Lindskog, your job is to teach me this game,'” Fields remembered.

Connection between two soldiers; connection between father and son. Powerful story. One hell of a read.

Grisham:

The story of Fields and his unit is depicted in the documentary The Hornet’s Nest, which premiered in theaters on Friday.

Operation Supply Drop:

For more on the military and gaming, read/watch Polygon’s feature on Operation Supply Drop; a charity committed to sending video games to troops in the field.

Tagged , , , , , ,