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Local comic store taking board game donations to help UB student veterans reduce stress

Posted at 6:23 PM, Mar 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-26 15:11:15-04

AMHERST, N.Y. (WKBW) — It all started when Iron Buffalo's owner, William Waterrose , overheard a conversation at his comic store.

The president of UB's Veteran Student Association and a veteran's advocate were talking about board games as a type of therapy for veterans.

They said it was a way for vets to de-stress when they return to civilian life .

"I think that something people don't realize after seeing what they've seen and doing what they're doing to look out for the rest of the country, they come back hard it to adjust to just a normal even college life," said Waterrose.

Waterrose happened to be walking by when he heard them say there is a lounge that student veterans can go to to relax, and enjoy playing board games.

But there was one small issue.

"They had no board games of their own in there. People had to bring their own games in," he said.

So he immediately posted on Facebook that the comic store is taking board game donations.

"I just felt something had to be done," he said.

He was getting donations from as far away as Korea.

Stephen McCloskey is the veterans advocate who was part of the meeting Waterrose overheard.

McCloskey is also a veteran, who's now helping other vets transition back to civilian life.

"Through tabletop gaming, we can minimize the stress, PTSD, and bridge back the families," he said.

And McCloskey practices what he preaches; every Sunday night is board game night with his kids.

"They had chaos at school, I'm trying to do everything for business and school. And it was a moment just to pause and reconnect," he said.

Waterrose said a lot of his regulars are veterans, and that if he can do anything to help, he will.

"Honestly there's a lot of times in life it's not about you it's about the community, and about the veterans and about people who need you. And if you're in a position to help you should,"

And Waterrose said with the amount of board games he's getting, he might go every Friday to UB's lounge and drop them off.