3 women told us why they bought inauguration tickets — and what they'll do if Trump wins.

Back in July of 2016, Laurie Mitchell decided she wanted to witness history with her daughters, in person, on Jan. 20, 2017 — though there was no guarantee history would be made.

Mitchell, a Hillary Clinton supporter, wanted badly to be at the inauguration. At the time, there had been no conventions, no debates, and few polls. Nonetheless, she felt certain Clinton would be elected president come January. Besides, she felt it was her civic duty to witness a peaceful transfer of power at least once.

She decided to take a chance and book a trip to the inauguration — and bring along her two adult daughters.


"Someday they will look back on it and they will say, 'Gosh, we went with our mom to see the first woman president of the United States inaugurated,'" Mitchell said. "They may say that 10, 20, 30, 50 years from now when I’m long gone, and they’ll carry that forward."

Laurin (left), Laurie (center), and Tara Mitchell. Photo by Laurie Mitchell.

Some voters consider making plans to attend the inauguration before their candidate has won a jinx. A curse. Calling down the evil eye.

For others, the chance to see the inauguration of the first female president (before hotels booked up and plane tickets sold out) was too good to pass up — even if it meant rolling the dice.

Mitchell's daughter Tara, a high school college counselor in Massachusetts, saw this as a teaching opportunity for her students. Both women said that being part of this historic moment was enough motivation to get on a plane or a train.

"So many of [my students] are apathetic about voting or their role in the democratic process," Tara said. "'My vote doesn't count' is a constant refrain, and they just can't see how they're wrong." She hopes that by reaching out to her local representatives for tickets to the biggest political event of the year, she can model the importance of civic engagement.

"Someday they will look back on it, and they will say, 'Gosh, we went with our mom to see the first woman president of the United States inaugurated.'" — Laurie Mitchell

For Jess Weiner, the CEO of a consulting firm that helps businesses create positive messaging for women and girls, booking tickets to D.C. for her and her husband was a way of feeling a little less helpless in the face of a "crazy election." She finally committed to making reservations last night — which triggered wave of relief. "As soon as we booked the flight, we were both just dancing around the living room so excited," Weiner said.

Watching Hillary Clinton take the oath of office, she explained, would be cathartic for her husband Felipe Lopez, who is Mexican-American, after he experienced a racist incident in which a driver threw a keychain at his car while screaming racial epithets shortly after Trump's campaign began.

"I want to share with him the experience of watching our country change in real time," she said.

Felipe Lopez and Jess Weiner. Photo by Jess Weiner.

For now at least, Weiner isn't letting herself worry about jinxing it — or imagining the "alternate universe" in which Trump is up at that podium instead. But if the unimaginable happens?

"I will mark up that hotel room and sell it to a Trump supporter for a profit and go give it to another viable candidate for women in leadership," she said.

Tara Mitchell believes the symbolic power of watching the first female president begin her service could inspire young girls, though she has realistic expectations for what a Clinton presidency might hold.

"I know it won't be an immediate change, just as the election of the first African-American president didn't 'fix' racism," Tara said. "But it will go a long way in moving the conversation and viewpoints in a positive direction."

Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images.

If Trump wins, Tara still plans make the trip to spend time with her sister — and experience the flip side of history.

"Being able to watch Trump give his inaugural address in real life is still something," she said, "Even if it does make my skin crawl to hear him speak."

Either way, it'll be something to talk about 50 years from now.

Courtesy of Verizon
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If someone were to say "video games" to you, what are the first words that come to mind? Whatever words you thought of (fun, exciting, etc.), we're willing to guess "healthy" or "mental health tool" didn't pop into your mind.

And yet… it turns out they are. Especially for Veterans.

How? Well, for one thing, video games — and virtual reality more generally — are also more accessible and less stigmatized to veterans than mental health treatment. In fact, some psychiatrists are using virtual reality systems for this reason to treat PTSD.

Secondly, video games allow people to socialize in new ways with people who share common interests and goals. And for Veterans, many of whom leave the military feeling isolated or lonely after they lose the daily camaraderie of their regiment, that socialization is critical to their mental health. It gives them a virtual group of friends to talk with, connect to, and relate to through shared goals and interests.

In addition, according to a 2018 study, since many video games simulate real-life situations they encountered during their service, it makes socialization easier since they can relate to and find common ground with other gamers while playing.

This can help ease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even PTSD in Veterans, which affects 20% of the Veterans who have served since 9/11.

Watch here as Verizon dives into the stories of three Veteran gamers to learn how video games helped them build community, deal with trauma and have some fun.

Band of Gamers www.youtube.com

Video games have been especially beneficial to Veterans since the beginning of the pandemic when all of us — Veterans included — have been even more isolated than ever before.

And that's why Verizon launched a challenge last year, which saw $30,000 donated to four military charities.

And this year, they're going even bigger by launching a new World of Warships charity tournament in partnership with Wargaming and Wounded Warrior Project called "Verizon Warrior Series." During the tournament, gamers will be able to interact with the game's iconic ships in new and exciting ways, all while giving back.

Together with these nonprofits, the tournament will welcome teams all across the nation in order to raise money for military charities helping Veterans in need. There will be a $100,000 prize pool donated to these charities, as well as donation drives for injured Veterans at every match during the tournament to raise extra funds.

Verizon is also providing special discounts to Those Who Serve communities, including military and first responders, and they're offering a $75 in-game content military promo for World of Warships.

Tournament finals are scheduled for August 8, so be sure to tune in to the tournament and donate if you can in order to give back to Veterans in need.

Courtesy of Verizon

via @Todd_Spence / Twitter

Seven years ago, Bill Murray shared a powerful story about the importance of art. The revelation came during a discussion at the National Gallery in London for the release of 2014's "The Monuments Men." The film is about a troop of soldiers on a mission to recover art stolen by the Nazis.

After his first time performing on stage in Chicago, Murray was so upset with himself that he contemplated taking his own life.

"I wasn't very good, and I remember my first experience, I was so bad I just walked out — out onto the street and just started walking," he said.

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