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He Made The Same Mistake Every One Of Us Would Have Made. And Now A Little Girl Is Gone.

Jamie DeWolf, storyteller, has a pretty personal one to share. It involves a child abduction and abuse case, but I urge you to listen all the way through. It's a hard listen, but an important one.

He Made The Same Mistake Every One Of Us Would Have Made. And Now A Little Girl Is Gone.

To keep informed on what is being done to protect children from abduction, please Like the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children on Facebook.

UPDATE: Jamie wrote the following on his facebook wall since we published this:
"Since the release of the story, I've talked to people who were on the search teams marching through the hills and reporters who interviewed the Wolf face to face, and heard parts of his sickening confession from his mouth. He was worse than you can imagine. Old neighbors have messaged me who still remember the little girl who was always walking by herself.


But more importantly, the 8 year old girl who escaped is named Midsi. 15 years later, she's grown up and now works for a missing children center and the Polly Klaas Foundation. Which is incredible. Someone posted this performance on her FB wall, and to be honest I was terrified it would be traumatizing to hear. She said, "I want to shake this man's hand...feeling blessed." Now I'm hoping to meet her all these years later in person. It's a heavy thing, but thank you to everyone for helping make that happen. Let's share this more, show it folks who haven't seen it, it matters."

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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