It was Labor Day weekend in 1998 and I was off to my very first convention as a Stormtrooper. The Detention Block 2551 site had been up for a year. Over a hundred other Stormtroopers had joined the newly-anointed 501st Squad. We had an insignia and a backstory. All that was left now was to form up as a club in person. I e-mailed everyone from the website and boldly announced the Fighting 501st was going to take the con by storm!
That was all tough talk. I was terrified. I’d never been to Dragon Con in my life and from what I heard it was huge. I was barely able to get around an air conditioned movie theater in my armor, so how would I get around downtown Atlanta in armor that barely fit me? (We didn’t cut our armor down back then; we didn’t know we could!) On top of that, I was still getting used to being an amputee. And who were these people coming to meet up with me? I barely knew them. Would they rally to a banner I’d raised on the Internet? Or would they just bail on everything and go party?