A Salute to the Top 10 Soldiers in Gaming

It's a celebration of all things American – barbecuing, breaking out the pool gear, buying mattresses, and flipping work the bird one extra day. Of course, it's Memorial Day, the unofficial start of summer, but in reality, it's a day we pay tribute to those who have passed on in the course of ensuring we civilians can enjoy such things like barbecuing, mattress sales… and our nation's right to be free.

No matter where in the political spectrum one falls, the vast majority of Americans recognize our fighting forces as the finest men and women this nation has to offer, and today, we salute them in our own special way: showcasing the top ten finest fighting men and women in gaming. Not all of these soldiers are American, but all of them show qualities we admire in our soldiers – bravery, morality, loyalty, and general badassery.

This Memorial Day Weekend, we bring to you the Top Ten Soldiers in Gaming. What we can't do is give our veterans, both still on this mortal plane and those who have left it in the ultimate sacrifice, enough thanks. So, as a personal request from me, when you're done reading this, please take the time to tell a vet, either here or passed on, that you appreciate what they have done for our nation.

These may be the biggest badasses in gaming, but they pale in comparison to the real heroes.

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I'd like to take a personal moment and dedicate this column to Iraqi War veteran and family friend, Army Ranger Steven Clark of the 2nd Battalion 75th Ranger Regiment (1989-2008). Keep watching over my sister, my Princess Zelda. We miss you, little guy.