The world of tabletop RPGs have been a powerful force in world activism. The TTRPGs for Trans Rights in Texas bundle has raised (at time of writing) almost $340,000 in response to oppressive legislative action. Paizo Publishing recently revealed a charity bundle supporting the National Coalition Against Censorship. Asmodee Publishing managed to raise $184,000 in support of breast cancer research. But recently the nonprofit organization, Hope For The Warriors, have recently discovered the therapeutic power of support and community that comes from Dungeons & Dragons.
For those not aware, Hope For The Warriors is an organization dedicated to clinical health and wellness for armed forces veterans. It was founded in 2006 and started out providing a social circle of family, and hope to those who served post-9/11 and the War on Terror. It has served over 40,000 members, providing everything from recreational sports activities, transitioning back to civilian life, and even providing Military Spouse and Caregiver Scholarships to families whose members had served.
Now, playing Dungeons & Dragons can be added to what Hope For The Warriors provides for its veterans. According to a press e-mail, two different D&D groups were set up by members of the organization, the weekly games overseen by Augustine Monroe Thomas McIntire. It originally started as a means to stay in touch during the time of COVID, using voice chat and virtual tabletop applications for their sessions. These two groups, comprised of a dozen veterans, ended clocking over 108 hours spent playing. Furthermore, these veterans aren't just mindlessly playing modules out of boredom, they are actively engaged with their adventures, talking about what happened during each session throughout the week and looking forward to the next one.
Several of the players in these Hope For The Warriors sessions gave their thoughts. D. Allen said, "Not only has it been my connection to my veteran friends these past several months, but it has essentially been the only social activity in my life for some time as it’s been tough to leave the house among COVID concerns and having young children at home. I think it’s fair to say our entire party looks forward to each session eagerly. I can’t think of many activities better for building relationship than D&D. It’s definitely something more charities and veterans outreach groups should pursue.” Another member, N. Nefsland stated, "The best part is, that it isn’t going to a bar and consuming unhealthy amounts of alcohol, and it doesn’t require travel. It’s a chance to laugh and think and have the kind of interactions we all miss having in uniform. It’s like being in the field from the comfort of a chair. If any one of those men needed help, I would be there for them. Because I need them to be there on Thursday (game night).”
Because of this success, Hope For The Warriors will continue holding such Dungeons and Dragons sessions for its members. If you wish to know more about the services provided by this national nonprofit organization, you can go here.