WARNING: Sappy, emotional thankfulness incoming. If one doesn’t want to read it, move along little doggie! -Alex
To The Historical Wargaming Community,
Several days ago I was hit by the calamity all miniatures gamers fear and hate. My PACK 720, which held approximately 90% of my entire miniatures collection, was stolen out of my vehicle. Over $1000 US and four years of work was gone. Inside of it were real labors of love, ranging from hand painted authentic tanks (Cobra King at Bastogne) to gifts from friends (a painted P47 that my good friend did with one of my nicknames “Bandit” on it). Needless to say, I was devastated.
Now, miniatures gaming to me goes beyond a simple hobby. It is, frankly speaking, a central pillar of my life. Next to my wife and daughters, nothing brings me more happiness and enjoyment. This goes back to 2007, when I found minis gaming to be therapeutic after my combat deployment (my second of five). Since that time, minis gaming has become my therapy, both emotionally and socially. Every Sunday I can be found at my FLGS, rolling dice, discussing the finer points of history and army building, and enjoying like minded people’s company. Many have church on Sunday. I have gaming.
Wargaming is a community, and when I reached out the community acted. I have been very thankful and humbled by all the support. Whether it was monetary donations or donations of miniatures, people from all over the world (nearly all of whom I have never met physically in my life) helped me however they could. People from as far afield as Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, the UK, and Italy all pitched in. I have only ever seen that sense of brotherhood/sisterhood in one place, and that was during my time in the Army.
I know we have differences. We argue over rules, historical accuracy, the right shade of Dunklegelb or Olive Drab, etc. But at the end of the day we are all here for the same thing, the enjoyment of each others company and of our shared hobby. I have had discussions with friends about how our community is different from others, and several have commented on the welcoming and friendly atmosphere compared to others. The outpouring of support after my own misfortune only reinforces that, and I hope the community never loses that.
In closing, there are too many people to thank. They know who they are, and it is my sincerest hope that good karma finds them for the help they have given me in my time of need. I also am thankful to be part of such an amazing, international group of people that has become a second family of sorts. I also hope that someday I will make a difference to a fellow wargamer in need as the community has done for me.
So, to the wargaming community, I offer my sincerest and humble thanks for all that you do and all that you have done.