The Empire – From the Front Lines

501st Alias/Callsign – Happy Trooper

TKID – TK52560

What is your name and why did you pick your 501st Alias?
I’m a glass half full kind of gal. I’m always smiling and giggly. No matter the situation, I always find the good parts and end up laughing it off. Because, why go through life any other way?

When did you join the Legion and why? 
Although I didn’t become a member of the Legion until February of this year, I was an avid handler on many troops alongside my husband, who became a Legion member over two years ago. Seeing the joy we bring to people is why I love being a part of this very special group of people. Allowing people to escape reality for just a moment in a world that can sometimes be sad or stressful is exactly why I love each and every troop.

Of all of the troops you have been a part of, which one has stood out the most & why? 
The Gwinnett Braves game was my husband’s very first troop and my very first handling experience. The overwhelming feeling of genuine acceptance and warm welcome we received from seasoned members at that troop was unexpected and wonderful. We made many acquaintances that day that eventually developed into friendships. I love love doing charity work alongside some of the most honest, humble people I’ve ever met.

How has being a part of the 501st impacted your life?
Not being from Atlanta originally, the 501st has allowed me to become more involved within the Atlanta community. I feel more a part of the heartbeat of this massive city rather than just a contributor to the workforce.

Outside of trooping and 501st related stuff, what do you do for a living, and what are some other interests or hobbies that you have?
I work in Revenue Management at UPS global headquarters in Sandy Springs. My hobbies include crafting, homemaking (Pinterest and Etsy are my dearest friends), exercising (boot camp style classes, weight-lifting, yoga), and singing …. anything, anywhere. Seriously, I’m always down for some serious karaoke time.

Can you give us an idea as to the kind of support you get from friends and family regarding the 501st and all the great things that you have done with the GA Garrison?
My family and friends absolutely love that I’m a part of the Legion. Every time they see anything Star Wars related, I’m the first person that comes to mind. My mom specifically tells me every day how proud she is of all the great work we do supporting Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Bert’s Big Adventure, Boy Scouts of America, and United Way just to name a few. Shucks, Mom. You sure do know how to make me feel all gooey inside.

And lastly, is there anything, Star Wars related or not, that people might not know about you that they might be surprised to find out?
I’ve been singing since I was seven years old. If I could be anything I wanted at no cost, I’d be a R&B style vocalist. Aretha Franklin, Jennifer Hudson, and Whitney Houston are some of my biggest idols.