LA Nonprofit Supports Veterans Through Video Games

LOS ANGELES (KABC) — “Veterans are our mission. Gaming is our passion.” That’s the motto nonprofit Stackup lives. Stephen Machuga, founder and executive director of Stackup, said gaming is a great way to connect veterans.

“Gaming is important to veterans, something I personally learned when I got back from Ira,” Machuga said. “It helps you not to focus on bad times. It’s an enjoyable hobby, it’s fun.”

Machuga wants to make sure that as many veterans as possible can play the game they want. So a group of volunteers gathered to pack boxes of lightly used, high-quality gaming supplies donated by Riot Games to give away to veterans.

“Many veterans have a steady income and don’t have the opportunity to ever upgrade their machines and equipment,” Machuga said. “So we’re taking care of them today.”

The group put together about 100 boxes, most of which contained a mouse, headset and keyboard. Veterans there said gaming helps them connect with others and helped them transition into civilian life.

“It just has a sense of community with this platform,” said Jimmy Guevara, a US Marine Corps veteran. “It’s a different feeling to connect with other veterans.”

“It kind of puts me in a new world where I don’t have responsibilities,” said Alexia Pupura, another US Marine Corps veteran. “I don’t have any bills to pay, nothing. It gives me that sense of relief I need right now and without it there’s no telling where I’d be.”

Leaders at Stackup hope to continue supporting veterans game by game.

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