The Empire – From the Front lines


501st Alias/Callsign – & TKID:

Matty8393 on the GG forums and Matty61700 on the 501st forum. TK-61700 is my TKID.

What is your name and why did you pick your 501st Alias?

My name is Matt Melton. My alias is based on a nickname friends call me and the numbers are from the times when beepers were popular. 83 and 93 were the codes I used to identify myself when beeping someone. 83 for the year of my first car and 93 for the year I finally bought a new car. The 61700 is the Birthday of my son who passed away from cancer in 2011. I picked his birthday for my TKID so I could carry him with me when trooping.

When did you join the Legion and why?

Well it all started out with me wanting to have a group of stormtroopers march around the Dahlonega town square during the annual Halloween party. Searching for costumes I stumbled upon the 501st and the FISD and after reading into it and finding out what the 501st did and I was sold. After that I connected with Georgia Garrison members and started handling for troops. Officially I have been a member since May of 2015 but had been handling since 2014.

Of all of the troops you have been a part of, which one has stood out the most & why?

I think the Connectability Side Kicks Star Wars Proms have been some of the funnest to attend. Connectability help Kids and adults with special needs. My son was special needs after his tumor removal and cancer treatments so these kids and adults hold a special place in my heart. They really appreciate us appearing and treat us great.

How has being a part of the 501st impacted your life?  

I have gained so many new friends but I really love all the charity events we participate in. It is a way of me giving back for all the help and assistance my son and family got while my son was going through his cancer treatments

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 am a glorified pool man. My official title is Pool Operator. Basically I keep the pools and equipment running at the Cumming Aquatic Center. I am a CPO (Certified Pool Operator) as well as a CPO Instructor. After high school I got into the pool industry and never left. Outside of work and the 501st I love being out in nature. I have been doing a lot of hiking on the Appalachian Trail lately but enjoy spending time outside doing most anything. I also enjoy working on cars. I recently bought a truck that is the same model and color as one I bought new in 1993 except it has most of the stuff I wanted back then but couldn’t afford. It needs some work so I spend time working on it so I can use it to run up the mountains when I go hiking.

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?

Once they get past the costume club aspect and see all the charity stuff we do they are super supportive. Perfect example is my wife. She hates Star Wars but loves what we do as the 501st. She comes to events and helps out but still doesn’t like Star Wars.

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?

This is a tough one. When growing up my dad listened to country music so I do like some of the older stuff. As with most music now the newer stuff is not worth a listen but my main love is metal. I like long walks on the beach…