Today marks one year since I officially joined the 501st Legion. Joining this prestigious group of Star Wars costumers was something I wanted to do for over a decade and I’m so happy to (finally) be one of them.
This past year has been unforgettable in terms of my personal Star Wars fandom and I have the Legion, and more specifically, my local garrison (Imperial Sands Garrison), to thank for much of it. Through my involvement in the Legion I have been able to attend numerous events (troops), spanning from charity walks all the way to a red carpet film premiere.
While I certainly enjoy mingling with celebrities and supporting my local MLB team, the most moving troops for me have been those in support of charity. The Buddy Walk for the Down Syndrome Association of San Diego has been one of my most memorable troops. I don’t think I’ve been to another troop where I’ve gotten more hugs and/or high-fives at a single event. The atmosphere at that troop was joyous and it was so fun to get to interact with everyone and cheer on those who participated in the Buddy Walk. I hope to be able to troop that event again next year.
In addition to all the various troops that I get to be part of, are all the wonderful people that I get to troop alongside. I had friends from my Disneyland days who were members of the 501st, but I hadn’t given much thought as to who the other people underneath the helmets were, other than I knew they loved Star Wars and had a heart for volunteering/charity work. As I got to know my fellow troopers I was pleased to find out how diverse they were personally and professionally; there really isn’t a “type” of person who joins the Legion.
In my Garrison, we have people from all types of backgrounds and professions (from race car drivers, to physicians, to engineers, to military service members, to homemakers, to accountants, to DJs, etc.). These fantastic people volunteer their time to give to the lives of others; and, it is such a beautiful thing to see everyone come together over a mutual love of Star Wars.
Overall, this year has been everything that I was hoping it would be, and also so much more! I’ve really enjoyed the troops that I’ve participated in, and the friendships I’ve built along the way, and, I’m excited to see what lies ahead in the years to come!