Archive for the 'Trooping Report' Category

501st, Midwest Garrison, Trooping Report

Playing Catch Up: Part Two: Bartlett, IL Parade “Tatooine Death March” and BBQ 7/5/09

Every year a large portion of the Midwest Garrison gets together for one of our two “big” yearly troops, this one being the annual Bartlett, IL Fourth of July Parade we like to call the Tatooine Death March due to its length and the fact that its usually hot as the desert planet its named after. Thankfully, this year it was rather cooler than usual.

It was a fun time, that was had by all. I was able to meet many garrison members I’ve never met but spoken with on the forums and spend time with local members and meet their families and significant others.

Unfortunately the parade itself was a disaster for me. Right as the parade started really going, my thigh strap failed and we were not able to get it field fixed so I had to ride in the back of Phyllis’ jeep. Ok so maybe that wasn’t a total disaster since I didn’t have to march the whole parade, but unfortunately Stormtrooper armor is not designed for sitting and I ended up doing more damage to my suit than I’d like, not to mention the near zero headroom in the back with my helmet on was a pain all on its own.

Thankfully, everyone was helpful and awesome as I’ve come to expect, and we made it through the parade more or less in one piece.

The BBQ was a blast, the food was great, and I went home one full and tired trooper. Can’t wait till next year but hopefully, I’ll have my Crewman ready so I can troop sans plastic, I don’t care if they call that cheating, I call that SMART.

Pictures forthcoming, there’s a lot of them.

501st, Central Garrison, Photo Gallery, Star Wars, Trooping Report

Playing Catch Up: Part one: TrekFest 25 Riverside, Iowa 6/27

I’ve been busy with work and getting ready for San Diego Comic Con, that I’ve neglected my blogging duties. Let me correct that now.

Friday night June 26th, my very good friend and future Legion member Carrie accompanied me on my first foray into another garrison’s territory to participate in a historic event, the induction of legendary Star Trek actor George Takei into the legion for his voice work as Lok Durd on Clone Wars. George would be the first major Star Trek actor to make the cross over and the first in the legion. Needless to say, when I was invited by my friend, Chris Andrews, CO of Central Garrison, I jumped at the chance.

The trip to Riverside, Iowa, “Future Birthplace of Captain James T. Kirk” as they like to call themselves was a little over three hours. We stayed outside town due to the fact we had to be in town very early in the morning to participate in the parade.

Carrie and I arrived, early to Riverside to check the town out, which took all of five minutes. Riverside is the epitome of a small country town. Once we met up with the Central Troopers and Rebels, we got dressed, formed up and everybody sported Star Trek Emblem stickers on their gear as a show of solidarity.

We marched the very short parade and then headed towards the stage for George Takei’s induction before the Trek Fest costume contest. While we waited we had many pictures taken of and with us, and everyone except a couple grump Klingons (and really are there any other kind?) loved us. We filed onto the stage and Chris was given the opportunity to personally induct George Takei into the legion and George couldn’t have been more gracious. We also provided the three Star Trek actors, George, Nichelle Nichols, and Walter Koeing with wine from a local winery (well, its the thought that counts, right?)

Next we appropriated our table at the fest and set up shop answering questions about the club and posing for many more shots. Once we all started pooping out and traffic started slowing down, the rest of us that were still in gear cleared out and we headed out to the Iowa City Mall for dinner at Old Country Buffet.

Personally, I cannot say how much fun we had. Carrie is hooked on trooping and I thoroughly enjoyed the friendliness and camaraderie of Centrals people, and I hope be able to make it out at least once a year to see these people.

Oh and I got my picture in the Cedar Rapids Gazette to boot.

501st, Midwest Garrison, Star Wars, Trooping Report

Weekend Trooping Report 6/20/09 -Updated!

This Saturday, I had the pleasure of making it out to two troops in one day. By pleasure, I mean I’m a dumbass who wasn’t paying attention to the event dates and signed up for two troops in one day, luckily they were easy to get from one to another with time to spare so I did them both.

The first troop of the day was the 23rd Annual Chicago Hunger Walk at Montrose Harbor to benefit the Chicago Food Bank. It literally monsooned the night before so the entire park was basically grass covered mud and the air was thick with extremely humid air. Thankfully we were provided with a changing tent, unfortunately it was probably placed on the soggiest spot in the park. My armor was dirty before I got it all on and the folding chair we were provided with liked to sink into the ground when you sat on it.

In all it was a fun experience. Lots of photo ops, even got lots of hugs from kids. We even got to lead the prewalk warm ups and prompted several uses of “may the force be with you” over the PA system. I enjoyed it thoroughly, even though I had an almost disastrous costume “malfunction” with my right thigh armor snaps becoming unglued. Thankfully I was able to get it rigged with some help and suggestions from my fellow troopers, especially costume master Thomas Spanos. (Note to self: figure out what the hell you did with your tape.)

Afterwards, I cleaned off my armor as best I could, packed up, said my goodbyes, and headed back to my neck of the woods for a birthday party. Running a little early, I stopped for bit to rehydrate better and took a nice warm nap in my car.

Refreshed, I headed to the party to meet up with Phyllis for a Clone Wars birthday party for a 4 year old in Homer Glenn, IL. We went over the game plan and headed for the door. Phyllis in her Schph Gochi, Jedi Knight persona and myself in my street clothes and toting my armor crate went over the plans with the father and Phyllis set up while I went upstairs to dress for my entrance.

Phyllis started with the kids, and I came down during their “meditation training”. Basically, the kids were terrified of me to the point they basically refused to play any more. :shrug: What are you going to do? Phyllis was able to coax the kids into playing Hot Thermal Detonator and then some quick pictures with a few kids that worked up the courage to be near me.

Then the kids were herded back outside and I went back upstairs to change and we took off. On the way out Phyllis informed me that the family had given her checks totaling $200 for Make A Wish. I was pretty floored by that. $200 for at most 45 minutes.

Tired, covered in armor bites, and a few cuts, I went home to a cold shower and a nap. It was a good day.

Next weekend: Roadtrip to Trekfest in Riverside, Iowa.

Hunger Walk pictures are available @

Update – I recieved a nice surprise, my picture, in costume, from Aric’s Birthday party was printed in the local Homer Glen paper. Nothing like having your picture in two papers within the span of a week.

Picture from paper