War is not fought on battlefields of strobe and fog, and soldiers do not wear force fields able to deflect enemy fire.
Even so, those who “play” war may soon help those who’ve lived it.
Alpha Phi Omega, a service-based coed fraternity, will host a Laser Tag Competition benefiting the Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) April 5 at Terrace Sports.
Vivian Asimos, Alpha Phi Omega service vice president and senior majoring in religious studies and creative writing, said her fraternity looks forward to supporting WWP.
Asimos grew up in Jacksonville, a city with three military bases, where she said she watched childhood friends join the military.
“One of my really good friends actually went into the military as an EOD (explosive ordinance disposal) to defuse bombs – an incredibly dangerous job,” she said. “I worry for him everyday, but if he were to get injured, I would want him to get the support that he needs.”
The tournament, she said, offers a way to give back.
“They’re overseas serving for us,” she said. “The least we can do is serve them, even if it’s in a small way.”
The tournament will host teams of five defending a base while attempting to terminate the opposing team and storm its headquarters.
“It kind of makes you feel like a kid again, which can be fun,” Asimos said. “You can run around and gun, or you can sit to the side and snipe people.”
The top three teams will win prizes, and eliminated teams may play each other in between sanctioned rounds.
Brandon Akard, an army ROTC cadet and a senior majoring in geography, said he and many in ROTC are excited to showcase teamwork at the laser tag competition.
“It’s nice to see such a worthy cause being supported by Greek organizations,” he said. “And laser tag is always fun.”
The WWP, which donates financial and medical aid to injured veterans, does not often collaborate with USF organizations, and Asimos said she hopes to strengthen the relationship.
Akard said the soldiers are always grateful for support shown back home.
“With the two wars we are getting out of, there are a lot of wounded soldiers,” he said. “It’s nice to see such a large civilization support from the States and it’s to have that overwhelming backbone knowing that we’ll always be OK and supported by our country.”
Individual tickets are $8 and all proceeds will be directed to the WWP. Both teams and individuals may register.