Marines answer 'call of duty' in real life and virtual world

Andrew Ochoa
Andrew Ochoa
Macario Mora
Macario Mora

By Leland Kim - bio | email

KANEOHE BAY (KHNL) - As the country honors our military on Memorial Day, what do service members do to relax and unwind? For some, it's not that different from what they do on a day-to-day basis.

The U.S. military continues fighting two wars on this Memorial Day: one in Iraq, the other in Afghanistan.

Leading the charge are the U.S. Marines.

"Everything about the Marine Corps I love; the hard work ethics," said Cpl. Andrew Ochoa, a U.S. Marine stationed at Marine Corps Base Hawaii. "You work hard; you play hard."

"Some people go throughout their whole lives wondering whether or not they had accomplished or done something," said Sgt. Macario Mora. "Marines never have that problem."

For some of them, they're continuing a family tradition.

"It was definitely my grandpa," said Ochoa. "He only put in three years but, it stayed with him his whole life. He was definitely, 'Once a Marine, always a Marine.'"

So what do these guys do when they're not working? They play a virtual version of their work life: everything from "Assassin's Creed" to ...

"Call of Duty 4," said Ochoa. "I think that's every Marine's favorite because it's the first "Call of Duty" game that actually featured just Marines."

"I feel like a jerk," said Macario with a laugh, after he blew up Ochoa's player.

Jaw dropping graphics and realistic sound take players into the game.

"Well, the biggest thing for guys are beer, meat and blowing stuff up," said Ochoa. "I mean, if you're playing video game with a beer, it's like perfect, you know."

The "Call of Duty" series transports players to key battles in World War II, replicating every minute detail of combat zones and weapons.

"The graphics, how realistic everything is, especially if you have surround sound," said Mora. "So you're pretty much surrounding yourself in alternate reality and it's really nice."

Ochoa laughed after blowing up Mora's player.

"You're making up for last game, are ya?" said Mora.

It's also a way for Marines to learn about their history.

"It's kind of paying homage to all those who came before us and that not work, that's enjoyment," said Mora.

Honoring their forefathers through video games on this Memorial Day.

The "Call of Duty" series started back in 2003 as a PC game, then expanded to other video game consoles. First person shooter games make up a big chunk of the video game industry's multi-billion dollar sales each year.