November 10th, 2009
07:09 PM ET
Plenty of hard-core gamers called in sick to work or school today, having been in line at midnight to grab a copy of "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2." As expected, the reviews of the latest title in the series are glowing, with one taking special note of the realism of the opening scene at a U.S. Army base, and praising the believability of the setting.
But there's realism, and then there's reality – and no one's likely to make a videogame about the real difficulties many Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines face making the transition back into civilian life. It can be extremely tough to find jobs, especially in this economy: according to Activision Blizzard, the publisher of the Call of Duty series, more than 500,000 unemployed veterans live in the United States.
So the game isn't the only thing Activision Blizzard launched today. The Call of Duty Endowment, or CODE, is designed to raise awareness of the issue, and help fund organizations that provide veterans with job training and placement. Activision says CODE will receive the proceeds from sales of "Modern Warfare 2," which should jump-start its fundraising nicely. The non-profit's first grant: $125,000 to the Paralyzed Veterans of America, to help build a new vocational services center in Boston. CODE's directors say they hope to raise millions more for such projects.
We glorify our fighting men and women in games like "Call of Duty." We honor them when they fall. And many of us will take at least a moment tomorrow to remember them on Veterans Day.
Let's remember them in between those times, as well.
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