Great Chili Cook-Off

Pecan Park Flea Market

Had a good troop at the Great Chili Cook-Off. we walked the market and put smiles on faces of all the kids and adults lol. after they announced the winner of the cook off, we dressed down and went and had a chili taste test. it was very good. little warm out there but worth the troop.



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Support the Troops

Star Wars themed event for Veterans Weekend


It is going to support Combat2College which is a local veterans fundraiser that helps veterans, service members, and their families to resources in order to facilitate their success in post secondary education.


BlackFinn’s hosted this event for our military troops. we walked the room and took photo ops and shook hands as they celebrated the evening. After we completed out mission with the Military troops we stormed the rest of the location and mingled with the patrons that were also celebrating Star Wars Themed evening. The was plenty of Music and fun to be had. the patrons enjoyed the evening just as much as Squad 7 did. the was a fun troop.

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Trunk or Treat 2015

Trunk or Treat Festival 

Another Halloween Troop in the book, this event was a fun one. we got to do a little role playing as caravans of hayride trucks brought trailer loads of people by our stage setup. Kids and adults would hope in the back of the trailers for a hayride that took them around a wooded area with 5 different themed settings. Each stop put on a little show for the folks and they enjoyed each stop as much as the next.

The riders were treated to a fun little show. we saw 34 hayrides go by for the 5 hour troop. It was nice and cool and the people really seemed to enjoy the event.


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CattyShack Troop 2015


Troop Date: 10-10-2015 and 10-11-2015

Another great troop at the annual Haunted Forest hosted by Catty Shack. I had two day of fun in the sun surrounded by the amazing animals they have there. The Kids that came all dressed up in costume enjoyed the day and evening. this is a great family place to bring your little ones around this time of year.

Can’t wait until next year!!!! see you there.

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16-ACC2015BannerTroop Dates July 18-19 2015

Today warps up a two day troop at the Ancient City Con. It also was the first time back in my armor since late October 2014. It felt wonderful walking around the convention floor all suited up. There really is nothing like it. Even with my limited vision, watching the peoples faces both grown adults and young kids just put a smile on your face which no one will ever see.

There was a good turn out and the fan came all dressed up in their favorite cos-play costumes. The range of cos-play spanned so many things it would be hard to list. so I wont try but just to say there were a lot of costumes that people put a lot of work into.

I look forward to next years convention, I like the new location (Prime Osborne Convention Center) it has enough space for everybody and give us room to breath lol.. So keep an eye open for next years dates and see you there.

Enjoy the photos of a very small portion of what went on there.

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Show your Colors Run @ JU 5K

Troop Date 10-25-2014

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After a 9 month absents from the 501st, I am back trooping, however this post is the last one that I did before my absents. So there is not much to say other than this was a fun and successful troop,  here are a bunch of photos from the color run.

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After being off the grid for 4 months I was able to jump back into armor and troop again. Life it just seems to get in the way of our fun sometimes. but this post is about the troop not me lol..

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Today I got the pleasure to troop at a place that I have never been to and sadly is only 2 miles down the road from me. Catty Shack Ranch Wildlife and Sanctuary.  How cool is this place, packed full of big cats and I mean BIG CATS…

This was a Solo mission today as other have done and it was a joy to take part in the festivities they were offering to all the customers today. I did as we like to do and that is to make new young star wars fans by shaking little hands and take many pictures for them to take home and enjoy.

after about 3 1/2 hours of trooping about watching the tigers and lions play about, I wrapped up my day and said farewell and was on my way.

This was a fun troop and hope to do it again when it comes back around next year. I was able to get some picture because a nice employee named Jennifer hind of was roped into handling for me for about an hour. She was very nice and explained some the history and events as we walked and took pictures with the customers. So thank you for your help Jennifer I really do appreciate it.

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Freedom Festival 2014

01-Freedom Festival 2014 002Sweating it out in armor with new troopers and handlers this past weekend (06-28-2014) at the Orange park mall in Jacksonville, FL.

Freedom Festival was set to honor and support Military personal both retired and enlisted I believe. This was a fun troop with live music, fire trucks and many other booths loaded with information and food.

Squad 7 troopers and handlers met up in front of Dicks sporting store and it was a collection of regulars and new comers. If I have all their names correct we were introduced to Greg, Kevin and Aaron. Greg trooped as Vader and did a fantastic job at that. it was nice to see a Vader representing Squad 7 again.  Kevin and Aaron both working on their armor help handle and it was needed. Thanks to the new comers for coming and trooping with us.

The weather was HOT, the blazing sun beating down forced us to taking breaks every thirty to forty five minutes to ensure no trooper suffered heat exhaustion. we were able to troop on until the end of the event.2-IMG_0025

Squad 7 marched out to the crowed as we like to do and with no hesitation we were engulfed by the crowed to take pictures. we found a slightly shady spot and let the pictures take control as family after family walked and posed with us. it was great and the crowed was good, no problems at all. We walked the perimeter of the event so everybody could get up close and take pictures. we marched about with some good music playing on the main stage. people were dancing and enjoying the music even in the heat.

we wrapped up by taking a quick break and marching in side the mall around the food court and back to our dressing room. The mall crowed felt like the  Paparazzi running ahead of us clicking away on their phones. It was fun and a great way to end this troop. the crowed surly enjoyed seeing  us troop around like we owned the place lol…

This was a Hot but fun troop. I really enjoyed meeting and hanging a bit with some new squad7 members. of course I always enjoy the company of the regular troopers and they did a great job as well.

Squad7 you rock on!!!! Great Troop.

Photographer: Morgan Franklin

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Breaking News!!! Stormtrooper and Tie Pilot exposed (Buckets Off!!)

As reported two imperial staff members one Stormtrooper and One Tie Pilot were seen in these exclusive photos with their buckets off (helmets). It appears from the photo that they were engaged in 501st propaganda. The room filled with young potential recruits that were exposed to the ways of the 501st and how they can start at a young age by joining the Galactic Academe and working their way up to join the empire. But what is the real story here.

The Real story….

Today the 501st trooped the Murray Hill Branch Jacksonville Public

Exclusive Photo

Exclusive Photo

Library for the “Travel to a Galaxy Far, Far Away” event. Two Troopers Me and Gina were invited to mingle with the kids taking photos and giving high fives. We also were able to do a question and answer session and talk a bit about the 501st to both the kids and the parents, well this required us to take off our buckets. It’s the first time that I have done this out in the public. Felt kind of weird but the cause was worth it. It was a limited crowed so not to bad.

Gina and I both spoke for a few min about the great thing we do for charity and people around the city. Also how they can start at their very young age to become a member of a club (Galactic Academe) and start down the road to becoming a 501st member when they hit 18.

The Kids asked question and took photos and then settled in for a movie. Sadly the Library could not do a showing of Star Wars, so they settled on Star fighter if I remember correctly.

This was a fun small troop and gave us a little different way of trooping. Well at least for me it was.

So in all a good troop, check out some more Exclusive Photos

Handler and Photographer: Morgan Franklin

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“Dream Day is a chance for terminally ill children to escape the medical setting of their everyday life and be the center of attention in a way that let’s them just be kids, not sick kids. For some, this was the last time they would leave a hospital” – Kyle Scott

“Come with me and you’ll be, In a world of Pure imagination

Take a look And you’ll see Into your imagination”


Hold your breath Make a wish Count to three…


Imagine if you will 30 kids delivered into a dreams or fantasy that have chosen . That was my day today, trooping the PRI Productions event called Dream Day. As the quote above states these kids have terminal conditions. So today was all about them. So let me set the stage as it were. What each child saw as they were delivered to a dream like place.

Each child and their parents would show up at the parking garage. Each child was place in their dream car. Some picked limos and some hot rods, monster trucks and even cop cars. As each child pulled up to the entrances they could hear about 50 people clapping and cheering. As they exited the car a big bill board across the street displayed their name with dazzling effects. An escort led them to a red carpet where Willy Wonka greeted them and started sing the above song “Pure Imagination” from the original Willy Wonk movie and took the child by hand and walk down the long rows of people and character dressed for the event. We had fairies, princesses and the good witch from the wizard of oz, south paw mascot with spider man and of course Storm troopers and a biker scout along with  three  R2 droids.

As Willy walked the carpet the child’s eye were wide with surprise and overwhelming happiness. The person who played Willy Wonka was amazing with these kids. Quickly he determined the best way to integrate the child’s ability to participate in the wonderful walk to the building. Some of the children walked down holding hands with Willy, others were small enough he picked them up and carried them so they could take in all that they were seeing. Some were pushed in a wheel chair and he would help the excited child by slowing them down and so they could take in everything they were seeing. Then as they got to the door Willy explained that beyond those doors was their special dreams and they could enter and enjoy their very special day.

It was amazing to watch each child come through the gate and be greeted and see the overwhelming looks on their faces. I was stationed close to the front and had a great view of the children as they were delivered and escorted to the dream building. As they exited from their dream ride the crowed would start clapping and cheering as they passed us by. As amazing as this event was in terms of creating this fantastic illusion and fantasy I was not ready for the emotions that would hit you when you saw the reality of the condition of some of the kids.

Its was heart breaking, it was overwhelming and you could see it in the faces of their parents as they were stressing to get their child ready for this event. But the moment Willy Wonka took the child from the parent’s, their faces changed from stressed to excitement and celebration. at this moment all the pain, stress and sadness faded away for just a moment. Some smiled, clapped and cheered and other mostly mothers cried, tears of joy. Tears that said thank you for this, all of this. My child is happy and smiling on this day.

The tears were not one sided. My station put me next to Jaguars cheerleaders and overlaid on their smiles were tears, tears that showed they cared and as for me. Well not that anybody could see because of my helmet. There were a few tears that were shed as I watched each of the 30 children past me by. They were so brave, so motivated and you would not think that what they were going through was that tough. But we knew it was, it was very real and they would have to return to that life after they left this wonderful special day. So it was all of our mission to create and cement the dream in their minds to take with them as they faced their greatest challenge. After every child was inside the building the dreams started to take place.

As I understood it each child had a fantasy or dream. So inside there was an area for each of them. A place where they would get gifts just for them and a costumes that they picked. There were rooms all around that were amazing. There was a tea party room. The children could sit and have a tea party with a princesses. They could get ice cream with many fantastic flavors. There were a whole host of places in there that catered to their wishes. Truly, truly their dreams did come true, if only for a day.

The photo below are a small gallery of the day. There will be some amazing photos and video that were taken by PRI Productions. I will link to them as the become available so check back from time to time to see this special even in video.

Photographer: Rob Semos

Here is a slide show of the Kids getting there gold ticket to attend the event: Click Here



PRI Productions website: http://www.priproductions.com/

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