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Posts Tagged ‘501st’

It’s 9:30am on December 31, 2013 and Squad 7 members are gathering in the parking lot to get prepared for the 1 mile troop in the Gator Bowl Parade at downtown Jacksonville, Fl.

The sky was overcast and there was a cool breeze coming off the St Johns river that put a chill in the air. As the first few members showed up, we setup tables and started laying out the food and drinks for everybody as the got here. This was a great idea to kind of tail gate before the troop. it was a hit and everybody pitched in with everything needed to make for a successful tailgate party.

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There was excitement in the air as more and more members showed up. We had plenty of time to visit and get to know each other better, tell stories of past troops or talk about future troops and why we all love to part of the 501st and Squad 7. The food was great and the company was better, now we start getting ready for the troop.

We had a new addition to Squad 7, It was a M35 Deuce, It drove up to our little party and boy was it bad to the bone. its big, mean sounding and sporting the Imperial Cog on both sides. It was some kind of cool.

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Standing on the street waiting for the line to move, the troopers were ready to head down the one mile journey to wave and bring smiles to the crowed as we passed them by.  It was great to see all the families out there even with the cool weather and being in the middle of the week. We trooped on and did what we do and did it so good.

As we came to the parade end we all loaded up int the Deuce and trust me as a Stormtrooper that was a trick as the Deuce stands so high of the ground that we needed ladders to climb up. Troopers don’t climb latters so well but we managed and took the mile ride back to the staging area where we dismounted and attacked the food tables again.

Rounding out the day squad members wiped out the rest of the food and chatted it up and then we called it a day and for some headed to our evening places to celebrate the incoming new year.

Here are some photos of the event.

Photographers: Walter Woodruff and Kaelin Clevinger

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image5Keystone Heights, destination next. After doing the Pecan park Troop. I loaded up and headed to Keystone Heights for the Parade. This would be the first time I have been to Keystone for anything so this was truly a new troop for me. I brought with me my step daughter and her friend. they would handle and take pictures for us.

We got there pretty early so we walked about and visited with other troopers that lived out that way.  As the sun started to fall from the sky we headed back and started dressing out. once all the troopers were geared up and ready to go we headed out to our position in line. we stood around and took some photos and chit chatted about past troops and other sorted tales of trooping.

The parade master walked by yelling “7 min to go” and everybody started getting in position and ready for the walk. the Sun was down and the night had fallen on the streets. The darkness was lit with the festive lights on the float in front of us and the houses we will soon be passing as we troop on.

Time to go, everybody lined up and we started our slow walk down the street. the crowed looked like shadow people as I tried to see them as we passed each block. The colorfully lit house help make the people stand out as they cheered and waved as we marched by. Its was funny as we marched I kept hearing people say “Look it’s the Star Wars” that just sounded strange and funny to me. The march was not a long one and I really enjoyed the limited sight I could see through my bucket. before I knew it we are done and I could relax.

Thanks to the kindness of the float in front of use they offered to give us a ride back to the starting point so we would not have to make that walk back. That being said as a stormtrooper is can be difficult to sit, Another troop and I kind of balanced on the edge and held on for life as we rolled on down the road. After a few moment of hanging on for dear life we were back to the staging area and we all piled into the lodge where we stored our gear and dressed back into street cloths.

To round the night out some of us troopers hit the local BBQ house and had a great meal as we chatted it up and had a good time. In all this was a great trooping day. I was able to knock out two troop and had a good time doing so.

Here are some of the images below.

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06-Troop Dec 7 2013 020What another wonderful day for a Troop and on this day I would do two troops. First up was the Pecan Park Flea Market Troop. The second will be in my next post, where you can read all about it.

The troopers gathered up and we started walking about the grounds. One of the benefits here is being able to stay out of direct sun light. Walking undercover of the main buildings make this troop more bearable. On this day the weather was son nice even been in the direct sun was not to bad, although you would not want to stay out in it to long.

This venue provides us with a lot of photo ops and bring smile to all the kids and parents out shopping for good deals. We also were able to show up to a young mans birthday by the paint ball field that Pecan Park has. “I didn’t know they had one now” but it was full of people shooting paint at each other.

We trooped around and continued to do what we do best “show off in our costumes lol” and then we were provide some food and drinks as a thank you for trooping the event.

We closed out the troop with a few more photos and hand shakes and then were for off to troop number two for the day. Here are some photos from this troop.

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image8The December Art Walk was a success. The crowed was great and the weather, well it was ok. maybe a little warm once all suited up but we managed just fine tonight.

The crowed turned out  and the mood was upbeat and exciting.

The Art Walk is held on the first Wednesday of every month. So come on out and enjoy the sights and sounds, take a picture with a Stormtrooper or two and just enjoy an evening at downtown Jacksonville.

here are some photos from the night. Enjoy and remember you to can enjoy some Art Walk fun.

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Photos by: Victoria Nelson – handler

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I know this is a bit late, but this and a few other post are going to be coming that are late to the game as well. sorry folks sometime real life gets in the way. but here you go.

star-wars-reads-dayStar Wars reads day at Book-A-Million.

This is a pretty big event for the 501st as we are spread out all around town at different locations to engage people at book stores around the city. Susie, Kyle and I were posted at the Atlantic boulevard Books-A-Million. This location had setup a table with Star Wars crafts and some treats for the kids to have.

I had a good time interacting with the kids and yes adults to as they walked around the store. we had a few kids come in costume which always makes this TK smile, even though you can’t see it lol.

Here are some images of the event and can’t wait until next year.

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10-09-2013 JU Color Run

This was the first annual Student Veterans of America “Show Your Colors Run” hosted by Jacksonville University. The race is a 5K fun run (not timed) that both starts and stops at the Jacksonville University amphitheater. Proceeds from the race and any donations received will go towards supporting veterans on campus.photo13

So this was a fun troop. nothing like over a hundred people covered in powered paint running to brighten your day. We started the day early on a beautiful morning by getting ready to excite the runners before their starting time. It was to be me and Vader today and we were welcomed with a grand entrance. we got dressed and were carried close to the waiting crowed via a golf cart. I must say setting on that thing was quite the chore, I just kind of fell onto the back seat and held on lol. The drive stopped close to the crowed so we could get out and walk up to them. The DJ spun up the Imperial march and we walked to the waiting crowed and starting giving high fives and taking pictures.

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We mingled for about 10 min and then the campus president and some other big wigs chatted it up with the crowed. when the was completed we were escorted to a staging area where runners would be coming by. we were to give them some imperial courage. you know a little force push from Vader, a blaster in the back end for this trooper ya know motivation. We watched as the runners come flying by and with each lap the kept getting more colorful the that last lap.

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The event came to a close and it was decided not to go back to the crowed as all that powered paint would not set well on Vaders cape. It turned out to be a great troop, I had a good time.

Donations raised was $4,320.58

501st and Squad7

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FrontCard386One Anniversary as a 501st Squad 7 member.

After just over a year of working on my Stormtrooper armor I submitted my images for approval to the 501st legion. As with anything it took a few more submissions to get there but on November 16th, 2013 I got the Email. it Welcomed me to the legion and to Squad 7 my local Florida garrison. I was so excited for a project completed and a new phase in my personal life.

One Year later: So I have been a member for one year now, I have completed over 21 troops in that year and I could not be more happy with the decision I made to start this great adventure in my personal life. I have met some incredible people in this organization. I am always impressed when I see the people that give of their time to go and troop the events that we do. The passion for there work and their hobby, I was not sure how I would feel going into this about putting myself out there. people knowing that I was a Star Wars fan and even bought and put together a costume to wear out in public. I was unsure of the reaction, the labeling or the cost of respect from co-workers or you bosses and piers. But once I went out and trooped a few events and saw the impact it has on the children and their parents, my mind was put at ease and the response from my piers was acceptance and understanding. This made it a bit easier to proceed with this new adventure of mine.MOSH7

The Future: What does the future hold, well as for me it getting out there and Trooping more events as I can. I love the work that the 501st does and provides and I want to be part of that. So let see what year two brings me and the 501st.

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114_2302Nothing brings the freaks and the geeks together like a beautiful evening spent at the Art Walk in October at downtown Jacksonville . This one was no exception and it started out great as 501st members meet up and a new home location.

We are now stationed at the Mid Town Deli on Laura street. I really like this location and the thanks goes to Michael Boyce, Sandtrooper TD-9813 for securing this location for us.

This location provides us with a place to setup a table for things like our props and propaganda materials, a place to change with nice clean bathrooms, food and drinks right at hands reach. So the location is not only great for us to suit up and spread the word about the 501st. but it is only a block away from the action.

We had Vader at this troop and when he shows up, well he steals the show. From the moment we turned the corner the crowd mob him and his handlers. The first hour it seemed was stuck on the corner right where we started. We at some point managed to move forward to the next block, still not reaching the center of Art Walk action. But really its good that we never did as the crowded would not allow us or Vader to move. After about another 45 min we gathered up Vader and escorted him back to the staging area.

This was another great evening out at the Art Walk. Here are some pictures of the event. enjoy and post a comment or two.. thanks for the support.

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The Jacksonville Art Walk, its one of a few things that happens each month in the city that I feel is a great thing for the city, It brings people together for a festive event and they show up even when it rains. This months Art Walk was no different, Squad 7 Troopers gathered at the old fire house and headed out for another exciting evening of trooping.

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I am always surprised by the reaction of people as we walk by in a group. you would think I would be use to it by now, but nope it still makes me smile under helmet(we Troopers call it our bucket) when they get all excited and hop around asking for a picture. This happens with boys, girls, men and women of all ages. Sometime we even get pictures with the Dogs they bring with them, fun times for all to have.

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Tonight the weather was on the Dark Side. The black clouds drifted in bring with it the flash of lighting and rolling thunder.

It was a good turn out for the evening event in spite of the weather. people braved the light rain and stayed in good sprites.

Art Walk 09-04-2013 006We headed back a bit early because the rain didn’t seem like it was going to let up, the humidity and heat was starting to take it toll.

This was a good Troop and I had a great time with all the Squad 7 Troopers along with the Handlers that joined us.

Thanks Troopers for making this a fun one

here is the Jacksonville.com photo album of that evening, there are photos that feature us doing what we do.

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Birthday’s are always interesting troops. They are born from a fan boy/girls love of Star Wars and a loved one (his wife Tiffany) desire to bring Star Wars to life for them on there very special day and this troop was no exception.

John Kovac is no doubt a Star Wars fan boy, as evident by the plethora of collectibles that were scattered around the Cafe. The Cool Moose Cafe over on park street was the location that hosted this SW Surprise party. its a small two room cafe that was decorated from head to toe with anything and everything SW. We had Star Wars trilogy being projected to a big screen over the bar playing episode after episode. There SW buckets from all types of clone troopers deployed about the cafe along with light sabers of many types. we even had rings that looked like Storm troopers heads mixed with the chex mix in bowels setup on one of the SW covered tables. Needless to say there was Star Wars everwhere. now all we needed was some real characters to show up to make it perfect. That’s were the 501st comes in.

Once everybody from the 501st got to location we had a total of 2 Storm troopers, 2 Tie Pilots and one lonely Jedi. But wait! We were also join by Johns wife’s(Tiffany) brother as a Boba Fett, his name I did not get. We stood post near the front door as guest started to arrive and handed out black bead necklaces and homemade Styrofoam Lego looking light sabers. We greeted guest and took some pictures as we waited for the birthday boy to arrive which was just around the corner.

John, as he opened the door was greeted by two storm troopers one of which stopped him and slapped a set of binders on him then started to escort him around the room of guest. The surprise was a success, he, john claimed to be clueless to the event and its plans. John made his rounds hand shaking and hobnobbing with guest as they all started to settle in for a night of fun.

The 501st members started to move about and pose for photos and engage in chatter with other guest. reactions to our presents were mixed by the guest. some were very excited to see us and well some not so much. but in all we stood our post and brought to life the world of Star Wars for John.

The evening was a success for both the birthday boy and the two charities that would benefit from the guest. The host of the party asked each guest not to buy a present for John, but to bring a donation instead. as our time came to an end we were invited to stay and enjoy something to eat and hang out with everybody. We did stay for some food and a drink but this was Johns party with his friends so packed up and headed out leaving them to enjoy the rest of the evening.

All in all the event was a success. John got to enjoy all his friends and all his Star Wars props wrapped into a party he will remember for years to come. The party was able to raise $91.00 at the party and more to come at a later date.

This troop for me was an interesting one for the books and account for my 17 troop, that’s one more troop toward number 20.

I don’t currently have any photos of the event but as soon as I can get some I will post them here on the blog.

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