PaintballX3 Magazine 2012 Oklahoma D-Day Special Edition - Page 14

This year for D-Day was a week of flashbacks to my first game. I think about all the changes that I have seen over the past 15 years. As I woke up on Saturday morning the week before the game and saw the D-Day park sign, many memories came flooding back. I flashed back to my first trip. I remember the road when it was nothing but dirt and rock and now it’s all paved. I remember sitting in the hot Oklahoma sun on that road waiting for DeWayne to bring down his bull dozer to tow trucks up the big hill by Mom’s because it had rained the road was a swamp. When I pulled in this year and got to the top and saw all of the improvements that have happened over the past 15 years. The old army tents that used to house registration and café have been replaced with modern metal buildings. These have one huge advantage, air conditioning! I remember standing in line to register and sweating in the Oklahoma sun, Now I register online and only have to stand in line for a little bit to get checked in. Peggy seems to be happier now that she is can sit in the A.C. The food taste so much better when you are not sweating into your biscuits and gravy. As I drove to my unit camping area I also remember when there were no RV hooks and only one bathroom. Now there are several rows of RV parking and there is a new bath house built at the other end of camping area. I also see how the units camping areas themselves had changed. Where there were once only signs marking unit camping areas, these signs have been replaced by permanent structures built out of Styrofoam and concrete. I think to myself who would have ever thought that a 300 player game would have evolved into a 2,000 to 4,000 player game? I finally get to my campsite and start setting up and think to myself how even my team has changed. We started off with just three guys and now our team is over 100 members strong. I think to myself how did we ever grow to this size and it hits me. It all started with passing the word about how much fun the game has been over the years. It was not what my daughter was expecting. Now she so knows more people than I do. For the first couple of years she played for German 709th. But as our team grew we wanted more. So we joined the 82nd Airborne. Ken Moore and the Badger battalion was our Sgt Major and let us command our own squads in order for me to keep our guys together. Who would have ever thought that a long haired Psycho hippie would eventually grow up to lead the entire Allied Army? For me the game is just a small part of the D-Day experience. I’ve had some great slug-fests on the field and have won and lost, played in the heat and the monsoon of 2007. Like most games there is competition and this game can really get competitive because everyone wants to win and play their hearts out. But that is just a little piece of the game. There is so much that goes on behind the scenes for both sides. Both sides are always trying to gather intelligence on what the other side’s battle plans is. Both sides start planning for next year after about a week off after the previous game. Both sides start scheduling conference calls to discuss what worked and what didn’t. Just picture a bunch of grown up adults taking the time to attend these conference calls, it's like back when we were teenag-