Air Assault – Stacking Up for PAX South 2019

Air Assault

With PAX South 2019 rapidly approaching we wanted to take a moment to introduce you to the incredible Veterans who will be joining us on what will be the first of many Air Assault missions in 2019!

Our Air Assault program is where we hand-pick deserving veterans and bring them, all expenses paid, to attend life-changing video game and geek culture events, whether it be a Comic-Con, an Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), a Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) or even a game developer studio tour.

With the help of our local Stacks providing support, we make sure those veterans have a weekend that they will never forget! This year at PAX South will be no exception, so read on to learn about the amazing veterans who will be making the trip alongside us!


Michael Stern

Favorite Video Game Franchises/Studios/Publishers: Blizzard and Ubisoft
Favorite Twitch Streamers: SloppyOldTuna, Stealthy, ToddRoy/Twin Galaxies Live, Flamehopper, and P90Princess

Joining the military was one of the best things I have ever done for myself. I joined when I was 20 years old, back in December 2006, and became a Blackhawk Mechanic for the next 8 years in the Indiana Army National Guard. I was deployed in 2008 to Kuwait and came back with elation in my heart for the service that I could do in Active Duty. I left the military in 2014 due to a service-related injury to my ankle.

Since then, I have finished a Bachelor degree in Business Management and Leadership, and am working to open my own gaming business. Gaming has had an immense effect on my life both in and out of the military because I was raised in a household that always had some sort of gaming system, and though when younger my gaming was limited due to sharing TV time with my siblings. I have since grown into using gaming both as a recreation and trying to turn it into a business/income for myself too. Gaming helped while I was overseas because I was always in the USO or MWR playing with many of my fellow soldiers, while then also gaming alone back in my barracks, and it also allowed me to contact my family back home whenever I had time to game and talk to them via a party grouping on the game systems.

While that impacted my deployment and made it much easier, gaming has also been a large part of helping me cope with stress, depression, and keeping my mind sharp, while also giving me a way to release stress and meet new people across the world and become friends with many of them, as well as being able to stream on the Twitch platform. Gaming has always held a big part of my heart and has helped me through many hardships throughout my life.


Jarod Schaefer

Favorite Video Game Franchises/Studios/Publishers: Facepunch

Favorite Twitch Streamers:  Vertiigo, Mr.moon, Ser Winter

Greetings, my name is Jarod Schaefer. I joined the Army in March 2013 and am at the end of a 6-year adventure. I deployed to Afganistan stationed out of Bagram in 2015-2016 and served as a door gunner on the best helicopter known to man the CH-47F.

Unfortunately, I wasted my back down range but I’ve found gaming provides a great deal of healing and fun. I PC game for entertainment but also I use it as exposure therapy. My current games played are Insurgency Sandstorm and Rust.


William Morden

Favorite Video Game Franchises/Studios/Publishers: Battlefield, EA Sports (FIFA & NHL), Call of Duty

Favorite Twitch Streamers:  NA

I enlisted in the Army and started training at Fort Benning, GA in February 2003. After completing basic and airborne I was assigned to the 25th Infantry Division in Hawaii. My unit deployed to Iraq in January 2004 where we served until February 2005.

I was honorably discharged in October 2006 after struggling to cope with complications suffered from a mild brain injury. Since then, I’ve started a family and business as well as spending time working with groups and nonprofits supporting veterans and military families.

Gaming has always been a welcome distraction for me going back to my first Nintendo system. As a veteran, the community of military and veteran gamers I’ve been in contact with over the years has helped me to heal and maintain a sense of camaraderie.


We are honored and privileged to be able to give back in some small way to these two people who through all aspects of their lives exemplify service and sacrifice.

The first convention of the year is shaping up to be a very good time for everyone involved. We have a fun-filled weekend with plenty of gaming and geekery for these three amazing Air Assaults, and we will share it all with you so check back after the convention for our PAX South Air Assault wrap-up!

If you are attending, make sure to stop by our booth #10005 and learn more about how you can get involved with Stack-Up and help us bring even more amazing veterans to great conventions like PAX South and more through our Air Assault Program!

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