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!
Hello Keyes! Good to hear from ya in Boot Camp! No, really, it's really good to hear from you!
The community is doing just peachy, even though those darn Spam Bots gets the best of us at times. But, we get past that thanks to Saint and other Mods.
We hope to see you back active in the community! :D Cheers for ya! Toasting with Ginger Ale tonight!
As for the blog Saint, it is quite out of the ordinary, but for a good cause. Keyes is indeed a fine GIO user. Well, no homo just sayin' lol.
First, good on you, Saint, for doing this. I'm sure he'll enjoy it.
As for a comment, I don't really know Jon very well. He's one of those that people I always wanted to talk to, but never did. There's a few GIOers that fall into that category. Anyways... its unfortunate that Jon can't read blogs this month. I'm gracing GIO with my blogging skills with a 31/31 along with Jameson (JoyfulPenguin).
For games, I got the Mass Effect Trilogy on PS3. It was good to finally experience the first game. The Walking Dead console release is next on the schedule after I've destroyed the Reapers.
Be strong Jon. You're doing a great and selfless thing. We're all proud to know you.
Well...I only joined the GIO community recently...so, i never interacted with you. however, after reading this blog, i feel a strong need to post something.
I appreciate the sacrifices made by all soldiers. I understand it must be a total life change, and at times I wonder if it is a change I myself would be able to uphold. I don't intend to enlist because of such strong attachments I've made with my life, so knowing that there are people who probably have an equal amount if not more to loose than I, really means a lot. I wish you luck, and even if thing's go out the way Saint described them, I hope you have found new sources of enjoyment.
Good luck in your future and god bless!
You... don't know me that well, do you? I mean we've talked of course, but we never really became friends before you left, did we? Maybe this note can change that! I hope you are doing well at boot camp, and I hope they aren't pushing you too hard. Or, I guess I do sort of, since that'll make you stronger.... erm, where was I? Oh yeah, the letter thing.
Anyways, I've always admired anyone who made it a goal of theirs to get into the Military. To risk everything like that, it's just something to be admired, you know? I'm sure you felt the same way being that you joined them. Anyways, you've probably got a lot of these to read, so I'll wrap it up here. Just know that all of us in the GIO Brony group wish you a safe and fruitful journey!
(That... that's the right term, right? For someone who wants to be in the Air Force? HELP ME OUT HERE, SAINT)
Hello Jon. I hope that everything is going well in bootcamp. Hope you're enjoying the insanity that is bootcamp. Thank you for being an awesome person and choosing to join the military and serve our country and do awesome stuff. I hope you enjoy this and other comments from other awesome people here at GIO. I don't know to much about you, but if Saint says you're awesome, you're awesome. I hope all goes well for however longer you are in bootcamp and are able to maybe meet some really cool guys to do random crap with. Thanks and all.
P.S. Make sure to look at that time limit when eating....
Hey Keyes, haven't really been active in the community much any more myself but glad to hear from ya'!
As far as games I've been playing lately go: a butt-load of Indie games Jon, A BUTT-LOAD!
Stay strong, stay proud, stay safe and thank you for doing what you're doing!
Jon, thank you for everything you're doing. It's a difficult path you've chosen to walk, and while we're not there besides you physically, many of us here in the GIO community support you all the way.
"[We do these things,] not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills..." - JFK
Basically, here are the top gaming stories of the time of writing, because I don't think you can go on gameinformer in boot camp.
Walking Dead won Spike's VGA awards.
Megaman VS Street fighter was announced.
Kojima is trolling the world with fake games and studios to promote the next Metal Gear Solid.
Also: I just picked up the God of War saga. My thumb wasn't prepared to mash circle so much.
Thank you, Jon, for your service to your country. We are indebted to you for your commitment and dedication, and the sacrifice you and your family are making with your absence and hard work defending our nation. I am truly grateful and appreciate all that you do; you make the GIO community proud!
I, on the other hand, am doing nothing so noble. That said, it sure is fun to lose myself in the tropical wonderland of Far Cry 3. Between hunting, raiding pirate outposts, rescuing hostages and exploring ruins, I'm more entertained than I've been in ages. It's great fun, whenever you get some free time again.
Good luck with your training, Jon. I hope all goes well and wish you the best
Hey Keyes, It's a great thing you are doing, and I can't imagine it is easy being away from friends and family, and all the comforts of home, but this is truly a great accomplishment.
I hope all is well, good luck on your future endeavors.
We all miss you.
Keyes, hope everything is well brother!. I understand the feeling of being homesick, but know how much we appreciate what you are doing, and trust me, we miss you here as much as you miss us. Good luck, and come back soon!
Hey Keyes! I didn't know you well but have family in the Navy so best of luck with your boot camp stay! The only real news you missed (so far) was the release of Far Cry 3 (it's awesome) and the mid-season finale of The Walking Dead (also awesome). Both'll still be around when you get back! Best of luck buddy, hopefully Saint'll send you some good reading material...
Well done Saint, and very nice to here from Keyes as well.
Hey Keyes! We never really talked much, but I remember seeing your comments, and reading your blogs. I can't imagine how tough it may be being away from family and friends, especially around this time of year. Which is one of the many, many reasons I have a tremendous amount of respect for what you're doing. Good luck, and hope all is well.
Thanks for signing up, it's a great honor to know you here online. Saint asked that I give you some encouragement and gaming news all wrapped in one, so I'll start by saying the VGAs were actually decent this year, and I'll also so that you've got strength my friend.
I'm playing Dark Souls right now, and while that game seems tough I can only imagine what your doing is far more challenging, but I know you can keep it up. Got to say man it's really cool that you decided to go through with this, and I hope nothing for the best of you. I at least know how smart you are, since the Air Force is one of the hardest branches intelligence wise to get into.
Good luck soldier, you make everyone on GIO proud.