The lights are on
Veteran Member - Level 11
Kind of an out of the ordinary blog tonight, but it's for a
good cause. I don't normally ask you all for anything, but tonight I am...but only
if you want to contribute. First I want you to imagine something. I almost
asked you to close your eyes, but then how would you read this. Anyway...moving
Imagine you are living and working in a place where you don't
get to go home every night and see your family...no husband or wife, no brothers
or sisters, no sons or daughters, no friends or even pets. You work all day and
at night you are escorted back to your quarters, where you get just a few hours
of sleep before you wake up and do it all over again. While you're at work, you
are often ridiculed, criticized and forced to do physically challenging tasks
for no apparent reason. As if that wasn't bad enough, you're enduring the
experience with a few dozen complete strangers, some of who challenge authority
which often results in you being punished for their behavior. These same
strangers reside with you in your quarters. You eat with them, shower with
them, and spend nearly every moment of your life with them. The irony in the
situation is, choices you have made are what got you here in the first place.
Where is "here"?
No, not prison...though it might sound an awful lot like
How about military boot camp?
You may remember one of our fellow Game Informer Online
members by the name of Jon Keyes. He wasn't a frequent blogger, but he was
definitely a solid audience member. He would read a lot of the blogs and
comment on them. You could also find him in the forums from time to time. He
was positive and supportive to many of you...certainly to me. I remember when I
first made his acquaintance I just assumed he was older because he acted very
mature and wise. When I discovered how young he really was, I was a little surprised
to say the least. He went on to be featured in the big 50th episode
of Member Herding. Read it here
if you're interested. Suffice it to say he's an all-around great guy.
That was back on July 31, 2012 and then on November 10, 2012
Jon Keyes posted a farewell blog which you can read here.
It was a touching goodbye...it opened with a little about his decision to join
the Air Force and what he would be doing, but then it turned to recognizing the
GIO community with a few specific mentions to select members.
And on November 18, 2012...he departed.
Well, on Friday this past week, I received a letter from Jon
Keyes...from boot camp. I told him privately...before he left...that if he wanted to
write that he could and I'd be more than happy to write him back. It's amazing
what a letter from home (or even from your online friends) can do to boost your
morale. Everybody loves getting mail - it's a fact. Those who have attended boot
camp will probably tell you the same thing - it's not that the things you do in
boot camp are all that challenging or difficult...but the loneliness is often the
hardest part to deal with. It can result in a feeling of hopelessness that is indescribable.
And that hopelessness is what causes many to struggle.
I was actually a little surprised when I got the letter...but
it was definitely cool to hear from him.
Anyway, the letter was brief (not a lot of time for letter
writing) and in the letter, Jon Keyes expressed how much he missed the Game
Informer Online community and asked that I send him some blogs to read. Without
having access to TV, radio and the Internet, you feel fairly isolated the
minute you step off the bus. Well, I thought I would do one better. Besides
sending him some printed out blogs, I'd like to send him this blog, with
comments from the community.
So, here is what I'm asking...whether you know Jon or not,
doesn't really matter. Post a comment sending him your hellos, well wishes,
words of encouragement, gaming news, what you're playing and what you think of
it...whatever you want. I'll give it a few days and then I'll print out the
comments and mail them to him.
I know he'd love to hear from you all and it really does
make a difference.
For Jon Keyes!