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Post: Virtual reality gaming changes Montana veteran’s life for the better

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Virtual reality gaming changes Montana veteran's life for the better

Some have called virtual reality gaming an escape, but for Billings veteran Darwin Oak, it’s a lifestyle. BILLINGS — Some have called virtual reality gaming an escape, but for one Billings veteran, it’s a lifestyle.

Not only has it given Darwin Oak something to live for after years of depression, but he’s also made a name for himself within his gaming community.

“You know, I feel as young as I do in that picture today,” Oak said at his Billings home last week.

Nuclear war technician, helicopter crew chief, and combat medic are just a few of the titles Oak accumulated during his 30-year stint in the U.S. Army. Alina Hauter/MTN News “I’ve been deployed, I don’t know how many times, five, seven, something like that, to all over the world. A lot of places, back-sided countries that you didn’t know about,” said Oak.

Those experiences can take a toll on even the strongest of people. At one point, Oak said he felt like his life wasn’t worth living.

“I’ve been shot at and stuff. Got a plate in my neck from getting shot at. I was getting depressed. And I was on a lot of medications for pain and mental health,” Oak added.

That changed four years ago when Oak’s son introduced him to the world of virtual reality gaming."This is my therapy…it’s helped me because I’m here. And I feel great,” said Oak. Alina Hauter/MTN News He immersed himself in the first-person shooter virtual reality game of Firewall: Zero Hour. He said he […]

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