Military veterans in SL, like those in real life, often seek out their fellow veterans to share again that “Band of Brothers” bond they knew in the military and to talk over some of their problems, concerns or common interests in civilian life. In SL, the place for veterans to meet other vets is the US Military Veterans Group, a group of over 1000 brothers and sisters with backgrounds in the military services of the United States. Some are on active duty, some are veterans, some are the family members of active service members or “veteran supporters”, and all are welcome.
The group is not designed, as are some “military” groups in SL, for “role playing” or “war gaming.” Rather, it is for mutual support and social activity, often in the form of patriotic observances or fund raising events for veterans organizations or causes. Wounded Warriors, one of the organizations the group sponsors, seeks to assist those service men injured in the line of duty, and their families, to recover and integrate back into society. Special attention is also provided for Native American Veterans.
The Military Veterans Group is headquartered on Patriot Island, a full sim, beautifully landscaped in a park-like setting, dedicated to veterans and their needs.
The offices of the group are housed on the hangar deck of an aircraft carrier docked at the island. It is there where you will land if you visit the island. Other buildings house a country/western club, a freebies market and a “Post Exchange” store, where veterans may display for sale their own products and a series of buildings each dedicated to the Army, Navy, Air Force Marine Corps and Coast Guard. The island also boasts a chapel, where you might find a military style wedding or memorial service underway, and an awesomely large aircraft hangar where dances, fund-raisers and other social activities are held. Within the hangar are shops selling very detailed military uniforms of all services, which can be customized with your own unit insignia and medals and decorations. Uniforms are encouraged for social functions, especially the celebratory dances held for the birthdays of the various branches of the services.
In the aircraft carrier are kiosks, which allow veterans to connect with national service organizations such as the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Disabled American Veterans. Other links direct the veteran to organizations providing counseling for matters such as suicide prevention and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Centrally located in the island is the Tomb of the Unknowns, a replica of the original in Arlington Cemetery in Virginia, and, just as in the case of the original, an Honor Guard marches before the Tomb day and night. An eternal; flame flickers adjacent to the Tomb. Flags of the United States and the various service branches are arranged in a circle around the courtyard surrounding the tomb along with decorative hedges and with benches for visitors to use while contemplating the tomb. In the evening hours, the tomb is lighted and presents an especially moving experience for visitors. The Tomb is a central point for patriotic observances on Veterans’ Day, Memorial Day and the Fourth of July. Additionally, each Veterans Day, an additional sim is opened especially to commemorate that occasion.
Along with the structures on the sim, static displays of aircraft, naval vessels and mechanized vehicles are available to visitors. Some of the aircraft are located on the flight deck of the nearly full-scale aircraft carrier and others are located throughout the grounds. A World War Two-vintage bomber, adjacent to the hangar, and a World War One biplane, both extremely exacting in their detail, are especially impressive examples of the “prim-wright’s” skill. Also spotted around the grounds are memorial stones, dedicated to those veterans who gave their lives in the service of the country, placed by or at the request of their families and friends. .
If you plan on visiting Patriot Island, please remember that it is in part a memorial site, and that a strong degree of respectful decorum is requested of visitors, including no display of any weapons or discharge of firearms. Political subjects are actively discussed in the groups chat, but partisan political activity is not permitted on the island. From the social standpoint, the Military Veterans group is a “family” but they are always eager to meet with and welcome new veteran members. A short period of evaluation of each prospective members military experience is a condition of membership. Membership is free.
The free-wheeling character of the group explains its unofficial, tongue-in-cheek motto– “We put the ‘Riot’ back in Patriot.” Good-natured inter-service rivalry is the order of the day in the group chat and an active discussion of veterans-related issues is always ongoing. Whether you’re a veteran or not, Drop in – you’ll meet some wonderful people.
For further information IM Asdzaa Oh or Gwill Brickworks
(People often ask me how long I’ve been a sailor …Well- Me father was King Neptune. I was born on the crest of a wave and rocked in the cradle of the deep. Seaweed and barnacles are me clothes, Every tooth in me head is a marlinspike. The hair on me head is hemp. Every bone in me body’s a spar, And when I spits, I spits tar. I’se a Sailor, I is, I am, I are. “)
Yankee by Birth, Virginian by Choice.
If you are mad as hell and aren’t going to take it anymore, grab your rifle
and head outside. If you’re the only Patriot with a rifle screaming like a
maniac, go back inside. It isn’t time yet.