Back in May 2007, two complete strangers randomly signed up for the virtual world of Second Life. Quite at random, they encountered one another in early July 2007 at Bailers, one of the numerous country-western clubs in Second Life. The pair hit it off and spent an unforgettable evening exploring together with a hint of more to come. They exchanged friendship so that each would be instantly notified when the other logged into Second Life.
As they explored Second Life together, they noticed the titles on the name tags of other Second Life avatars. On 02 October 2007, Hondo asked Asdzaa if she would make him one that said “U.S. Navy Vet.” She created the group on the spot and invited him in as owner.
Neither imagined their companionship would blaze the trail for national veterans service organizations to take the cause of the veteran to the metaverse.
By 09 November 2007, another Second Lifer, Cowboy Wayne, spotted the U.S. Navy Vet tag over Hondo’s head and wanted to join. Hondo and Asdzaa were delighted to invite him. The three of them were contacted by a Second Life television news reporter to request an interview commemorating the 11 November Veterans Day 2007. Cowboy Wayne created a t-shirt for their group and then began constructing the original Veterans Center on his virtual Second Life land. Soon, other vets found their center, including Nomad Albatros (USN) and Gwill Brickworks (USMC). Cowboy Wayne created the U.S. Military Veteran group so that vets from all the services could join.
Today the U.S. Military Veterans Center has outgrown two locations in Second Life and has expanded to a full private region, Patriot Island. What is now the U.S. Military Veteran group and its hundreds of members got its start with Hondo and Asdzaa’s U.S. Navy Vet group tag.
Hondo and Asdzaa continue to work together in Second Life on projects that are of interest to veteran and active duty service members as well as their families. Visitors to Patriot Island who examine the many web-linked clickable visuals to see who owns or created it will frequently discover items that name both Hondo and Asdzaa.