Stacy Lee - EchoVets
The HAC Presenters Series 6
“Your job is not to judge. Your job is not to figure out if someone deserves something. Your job is to lift the fallen, to restore the broken, and to heal the hurting" - Stacy Lee
Stacy Lee is a Veteran in her first life (US Army) and a Veteran of Second Life (SL). With more than 18 1/2 years of experience living and working in SL, she has a lot to say about how virtual spaces can enhance and expand life for military Veterans. Her overarching mission is to end suicide and homelessness among Veterans.
Stacy’s military career began at the age of 17 when she left for basic traininng three days after graduating from high school in Orcutt/Santa Maria, CA. She subsequently served in Desert Storm/Desert Shield where her combat experiences made her passionate about helping her military brothers and sisters get the resources and support they need.
Stacy’s Second Life journey began in August of 2004 when she borrowed a friend’s avatar to see what SL had to offer. Both the creative tools and the ability to socialize with people from around the world were appealing, so she created her own avatar in October. “I came here with friends from Sims Online,” Stacy says. “I stayed because of the creative aspect of it, and the ability to socialize at my pace, during a time when socialization was very difficult for me in the real world.”
From day one, Stacy’s avatar has been what she thinks of as a picture perfect version of her first life self. “I tried very hard to make her look like the real life me,” Stacy says. “But my perception of myself is not based on the way my avatar looks. She is simply a flawless version of myself that I can dress up!”
Work in Multiple Worlds
As much as she enjoys the social aspects of Second Life, Stacy’s focus in both worlds is squarely on her work as an Outreach Program Specialist for Vets. She is Co-President of “EchoVets.org,” a real world non-profit organization that provides healing and camaraderie through sports for Veterans and their families.
Stacy brought her first life work into Second Life in August of 2022 when Linden Labs (the creators of Second Life) approached her about creating an EchoVets sim. There she offers a variety of information resources - such as navigating the VA system - while providing a place for Vets to explore their creativity, make new friends, and connect with other geographically dispersed Vets.
“Second Life has allowed me to express my creativity, get involved in a large number of groups, and meet people from all walks of life,” Stacy says. “And, since the work I do requires me to part of a global community, I am able to reach out to and assist Veterans wherever they are, even though I live in Arizona.”
Second Life for Aging Vets
When asked how she feels SL can help both herself and other vets age well, she points to the many ways her mind, spirit, and emotional wellbeing are nurtured in Second Life. “It keeps my mind active, and would keep me socially active if my first life work wasn’t highly social already,” she says. “As a result, I am 100% an advocate for online socialization! I truly feel that an idle mind is where our elderly get in trouble.”
One of Stacy’s favorite stories is of how an elderly Veteran couple uses Second Life. “They are separated physically in their first lives as their children are taking care of each one of them,” she says. “But they come to Second Life every day, and although bedridden, can be together all the time. They go exploring, dance, and just spend time together. That to me is the epitome of what Second Life can do for us!
“We can do pretty much anything in SL, including educate ourselves on the aging process!” Stacy adds. “There are many wonderful people doing studies on aging in SL who are willing to share information and advocate for healthful aging.”
- Jena Ball (Jenaia Morane)
Stacy’s presentation at the Healthful Aging Through Lifelong Learning Conference is entitled, “Mature Military Veterans in Second Life.”
Date: Saturday, May 20th
Time: 8:00 am (SLT)
11:00 am (EDT)
3:00 pm (GMT)
Location: HAC Main Stage
Stacy Lee is a soldier for life (US Army), and a Desert Storm/Desert Shield Combat Veteran. She is currently serving our Veterans as an Outreach Program Specialist. She is also Co-President of EchoVets.org Band of Brothers, a real life non-profit organization that provides healing and camaraderie though sports, for Veterans, and their family members.
Stacy has worked with Band of Brothers for about seven years, and is their Co-President. The local police/sheriff will call this organization when a Veteran is in a crisis, and we go in and assist, and provide a calming presence for those situations, talk them through it, and then into getting the help they need.
Stacy took her real life work, coupled it with her non-profit work, married them and brought them to Second Life in 2022! She has been in Second Life for over 18 years, and now runs the Sim EchoVets.org Band of Brothers. There, Veterans have access to Live assistance, PTSD education, suicide prevention specific to Veterans, up-to-date information and resources concerning the Dept of Veterans Affairs, and most importantly camaraderie.
Stacy has three children. Her husband, Mike, is a retired Fire Captain. Stacy can assist with anything Veteran related including:
VBA/VHA/NCA questions, resources, and assistance
PTSD or MST counseling
Resume writing, job searches, and interview preparation
Homeless and food resources
VA Clinic/Hospital assistance
Stacy’s main goal in both her first and Second Life is to provide information and live assistance. Knowledge, she likes to say, is power within any system, including the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Video of EchoVets’ work in Second Life: (302) Second Life Destinations - EchoVets - YouTube
EchoVets’ Second Life Facebook page: Band of Brothers Second Life | Lake Havasu City AZ | Facebook
EchoVets’ parent organization on Facebook: Band of Brothers California | Facebook
EcoVets Website: Echo Vets : A Veteran Community : For Veterans by Veterans
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