Pro vs. GI Joe program at the E3 Expo allows deployed troops to play video games with celebrities

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U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Michael Quiboloy

When deployed to the AOR there typically is some downtime between shifts.  Entertainment and the comforts of home are in high demand in these situations.  Video gaming is easily one of the most direct ways to obtain the entertainment and a touch of home deployed troops crave while carrying out their missions. 

Enter an organization called Pro vs. GI Joe.

The not-for-profit organization sets up real-time video game competitions between professional athletes and celebrities with military personnel deployed all over the world, via the Internet and in person, as a means of support in a morale boosting, interactive way.

“Just trying to break the monotony from day to day operations, gaming helps accomplish that.  To see celebrities take time out of their schedule to play deployed troops really goes a long way in helping morale,” said Technical Sergeant Hai Ho, 412 AMXS Assistant Flight Chief.

At this year’s E3 Expo, Pro vs. GI Joe will have several stations set up within their military themed booth, enabling attendees of the Expo to play troops overseas and compete in various challenges to win prizes.  The event is set up to raise awareness, and to show support.

“E3 Expo is the perfect platform for Pro vs. GI Joe to connect with the gaming community in a truly fun and interactive way,” said Greg Zinone, co-founder and president of Pro vs. GI Joe. “We are thrilled to be part of the Expo to showcase that our organization is about more than just playing video games; it’s about the connection we are making through the games, something the troops absolutely love. We are honored to show the gaming community that through Pro vs. GI Joe, they now have a way to support those troops by simply doing what they already do – play video games.”

Pro vs. GI Joe has hosted several hundred events since its inception at arenas and expos like E3 across the country, helping to raise the morale of thousands of deployed troops and their families.

“I wish I had something like this to look forward to when I was deployed.  This event lets our troops that are in harm’s way know that America has not forgotten that you are still out there,” said Staff Sergeant Daniel Goodman, 412 Suitability Evaluator.