Many war veterans face lifelong challenges that most of us could never comprehend. Some face a unique blend of requiring significant mental care and financial woes that followed them home. This makes it difficult for veterans to receive the care they need.
Nonprofit Echo Group is changing that. They’ve already set up offices in Arizona, Tennessee, and California. Now, they’re opening their first metaverse location in Second Life.
In-Home Care With a Life-Like Environment
Even when veterans are able to receive in-home care, it typically lacks the benefits of group meetings. Unfortunately, some veterans can only reasonably receive in-home care for any number of reasons. This limits the potential for them to connect with others facing similar struggles.
Echo Group’s new Second Life location, EchoVets: Band of Brothers, changes this. Here, veterans can still connect live with others in a calm space that’s filled with free resources. Even better, they can do so without ever leaving home.
Yes, there are Zoom groups that try to connect veterans with others. However, they’re…limiting. Zoom meetings are flat, and they take a lot of onscreen real estate.
However, the metaverse offers an open, 3D environment where veterans can congregate, move around, and converse while exploring helpful resources. It offers opportunities to build lifelike connections for veterans requiring in-home care. It can also help them find others facing unique challenges that may not be shared with anyone in their local area.
Displays along each side allow veterans to easily sign up for various services and support groups. There’s even a special area in the back dedicated to celebrating the birthdays of veterans who have joined the EchoVets group.
Outside, there are even more opportunities for veterans to gather, connect, and just have fun. A bonfire surrounded by chairs radiates peacefully near the Military Artistic Series display.
Vendors have also set up shop with a portion of the proceeds going to benefit Echo Group. You’ll find the typical trendy fashions Second Life is known for, although often with a certain patriotic spin.
Bringing a Legacy of Trust to the Metaverse
Echo Group worked hard to earn the trust of veterans and their families long before building their Second Life headquarters. Now, they’re bringing that reputation to the metaverse.
They have built an entire sim dedicated to veteran care. It includes many of the resources Echo Group has previously used to assist veterans. So, there is that element of familiarity.
There is also a display that allows veterans to connect with EchoVets staff. The display, located near the main entrance, can be clicked to send a message, join the Band of Brothers Group, and find the latest news. That small display alone offers a wealth of resources.
Exploring EchoVets – Band of Brothers
Visitors will arrive in front of the EchoVets headquarters entrance. It’s flanked on each side by the aforementioned display and a donation stand. There are several additional displays outside linking to resources and in-world merchandise. A few displays also showcase additional nonprofits.
You’ll find more displays with profiles of Echo Group’s leaders inside. The interior reminds me of an stately hall adorned with Americana. Just past the entrance hall, a red carpet leads visitors to an assembly area. Two sculpted soldiers guard the stage.
There’s a special area just outside of the HQ building displaying art dedicated to those who have served. There’s also a bonfire not far from the displays where visitors can gather, relax, and converse.
The Halloween Special
It’s October, and you know what that means for the metaverse – Halloween! EchoVets has set up a special haunted attraction for the remainder of the month.
This particular segment of the sim deviates from the typically patriotic and tranquil environment with a contrasting spooky experience. We definitely recommend setting the environment to midnight for this one!
The goal here (besides enjoying the Halloween décor, of course) is to survive the rugged pumpkin path as it winds through a terrifying haunted forest. But, beware: there are plenty of jump scares and dangers hidden along the way.
More to Explore!
We don’t want to ruin all the fun! There is more to see in Echo Group’s Second Life sim, including a church, tranquil grottos, and a drive-in theater showing horror flicks just in time for Halloween. You’ll also find more resources designed to help veterans no matter how unique their needs might be.