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Welcome to the March 2017 issue of the MEPD newsletter! As you can see we are changing things around a bit. We wanted to introduce this new format so that we can encourage more troopers to engage and comment on these newsletters and help us begin new discussions. This year we hope to bring in more members, and of course dress up as plastic spacemen. First and foremost we want to congratulate our newly elected Detachment Leader, Justus Parinussa (dutchy)!! In this issue: • A word from our new leader as well as an interview so that you may know him a little better. • Introduce you to the new command staff. • Feature the MEPD's newest Deployed Police Officers and Activated SWAT. • Dive into the troop log and feature one outstanding troop from the previous month. - henselmonster • TD-11787 Hello brothers and sisters of the MEPD. I’d like to give you a short introduction of who I am. Most of you know me already and if you don’t please don’t read this, LOL! Here we go.. My real name isn’t dutchy, this might be a slight setback for some people. It’s Justus Parinussa, father of 3 boys( Emanuel, Joshua and Dega) and happily living together with Ms. TD-1560, Wendy in the town of Vlissingen in the Netherlands. My mother is Dutch and my father is from the Moluccan island of Sumba, which is close to the island of Komodo, yes where the dragons live. My dad served the Royal Netherlands East Indies Army during WWII but he and a lot of other troops were migrated to the Netherlands. I work at a Utility company at the purchasing department and am responsible for contracts and buying components for gas and water distribution. A diverse job and I even get paid for it. My journey with the 501st started with an email to Rolf Henriksen, TD-252, on the 3rd of January in 2008 asking him about info about the sandtrooper costume. We became friends and I even visited him in Kopenhagen in 2009. What a great guy he is! From the moment that I contacted Rolf everything accelerated rapidly for me. I joined the MEPD and started reading a the various topics, Mike Harrison, TD-1536, was the DL at that time. I immediately fell in love with the way people respected each other, which what later would be known and become the brotherhood. I got addicted to the MEPD and spend hour after hour chatting/ posting and not to forget laughing a lot. I ordered my first armor, an AP, and started building it the moment it hit my front door. After that I started to look for a backpack and not to forget a big boy toy. The rest is history, I got deployed and enjoyed the fact that I was and still am a proud member of the MEPD. I’m looking forward to this year, together with all you great people around me. Don’t be shy to contact me if you have any questions, I’m there for you. - dutchy • TD-1560 1. How long have you been a part of the MEPD, and what is it that sparked your interest in joining? My journey with the 501st started with an email to Rolf Henriksen, TD-252, on the 3rd of January in 2008 asking him info about the sandtrooper costume. He pointed me out to the MEPD and so my adventure to the dirty side started. And I have been fascinated by the sandtrooper since the 1st time I saw StarWars back in the 70's. What gave me an extra boost is when I read about the "bad guys doing good" mission the 501st has. My father passed away one year earlier due to the effects of cancer before I joined the MEPD, so I made myself a promise that I would dedicate my 1st troop to him and so I did. 2. What kind of changes did you see during your time at the MEPD, if any? Pfff, I have seen a lot of changes. New discoveries were made regularly, like which pouches were used, construction of the backpack, weathering techniques and so on. Everybody was on the prowl for the right parts and it felt as if everybody was helping out. And I've seen different Detachment Leaders of course, Mike Harrison(TD-1536), Noel Green(Bluey) and last but not least Rick Bates(DirtyBoy). 3. Of all of the troops that you have done, what would you say is the one that stands out in your mind in meaning the most to you and why? That's easy...The Move Along Project with RS and Anthony Forrest at CEII in Essen, Germany. Standing there with the man who portrayed the most iconic sandtrooper. We were all waiting on the UKG display set waiting for Anthony to enter the set, suddenly a door opened and there he was. The feeling was overwhelming. I wanted to scream, shout, cry, smile all together at once. When the presentation of Anthony was over we trooped as a squad, with Anthony being our squad leader, to the area where the group photo was being taken...that was pure bliss. Being lead by Anthony, being part of the squad... 4. How has being a part of the 501st/MEPD impacted your life? Well, a whole new world presented itself to me. Every troop so much smiles, different costumes and happy faces in the crowd..and the TD's always received a lot of attention as they still do. What really struck me was the kindness and the family like feeling I experienced when I joined the MEPD. You guys really feel like family to me... I have gotten so many new friends and even befriended Brian and Liz Muir and Anthony Forrest...my family suddenly got a lot bigger It is a win win win situation for me for sure!! 5. Outside of trooping and 501st/MEPD related stuff, what do you do for a living, and what are some other interests or hobbies that you have? I work at the purchasing department of a Utility company where I am responsible for contract management, vendor ratings and purchasing all water and gas distribution related products like couplings, fittings, valves, pipes etc. A really varied job I must say, it's never boring. When I'm not trooping I like to go fishing( I live near the sea) or cycling and I used to practice Capoeira on a reasonable level for several years but I had to quit that due to an injury on my calf. But I also like to play games from time to time on the PS4. One of my other interests is racing and then especially Formula 1. I have even done some racing in the past with an indoor kart team. 6. Can you give us an idea as to the kind of support you get from friends and family regarding the 501st? The people around me, family and friends, support me all the way and always say that the mission of the 501st is one of the noblest on this planet. My wife and 3 children support me in any way they can, my oldest son even trooped with me a few times, making it a family business kinda thing and my youngest already loves the sandtroopers!! I also must say that some people think that I'm a looney for running around in plastic...but luckily we all know looney people who like to run around in plastic too 7. 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? Hmmmm.....that I'm a walking encyclopedia, I have so much useful and useless info stored in my head..Oh, and that I've pushed Peter Mayhew in his wheelchair back to the Hotel where he and Angie were staying in Essen with another MEPD member and a UKG member!! We even got a thank you on twitter for doing that. - Strider • TD-16080 2017 is off to a great start. We are moving towards an exciting year of merch and an Orlando Celebration. As we transition to a new command staff, let’s take a minute to meet the members and understand the job each has to do for the MEPD. First there’s our new Commanding Officer and Detachment Leader, Dutchy. He runs the whole show. He is hard at work putting folks in place to make changes and keep the MEPD running. He is a very approachable guy and is quick to reply to anyone’s questions and concerns. Next up is our Executive Officer (XO), Smally. He will work closely with Dutchy to keep things running smoothly. He has plenty of leadership experience with his local patrol. If you have a Police Officer quality kit, your Deployment Officers are Felice and Scribbler. These guys will review all the Deployment requests and approve or make suggestions towards approval. The next level is SWAT. Felice, Strider, Scribbler, Dirtyboy, and Smally make up the SWAT Approval Team. This group will help you with your SWAT kit approval if you apply. Icononclasta and Scribbler are your Sergeants at Arms. These guys will help with disputes and maintaining the code of conduct on the MEPD boards. Keeping our website up and running are DarthAloha and Phoenix, our Web Server Admins. Our Financial Officer in charge of all treasurer duties is Trooper1. He has a lot of MEPD forum experience and knowledge. Many know him for his pauldrons. The newest Command Staff positions are the Media team. Headed by Strider, the Chief Media Officer, who will be managing the whole Intelligence Office and all of our media and social media outlets. The Media-Newsteam/ Intelligence Officers are Strider, Punisha, AirborneTrooper, and Henselmonster. They will be keeping the troops informed with newsletters and making sure all the channels of communication are open and running. Scribbler is also our new MEPD Ambassador. He will be overseeing the local MEPD armorer program. In addition, he will do the certificates, roster gallery photos, and assisting with membership approvals. Bringing us all of our awesome merchandise and MEPD swag is the Merchandising Officer, Gordonator and the Asst. Merchandising Officers, Henselmonster and Sandman Tigui. They will continue to work with the Media team and get plenty of goodies out this year. Sandman Tigui will also keep working on the SWAT and PO roster galleries. Helping out our newest members and showing them how to navigate the forums is the MEPD Liaisons, Lovemonkey and AirborneTrooper. Quite the team for quite the exciting year. 2017 looks great! - Punisha • TD-10930 Congratulations to our newest Deployed Police Officers so far for this year. WOOKIE • TD-22153 TOPSLJACK TD • TD-10196 EDGEXPHIL • TD-71571 HEROMA97 • TD-22997 SPOOL68 • TD-68686 PROZENT • TD-26001 CHANCE • TD-6921 TEN FINGERS • TD-70281 YVH • TD-6022 There are no new SWAT activations yet this year, good luck to those currently under review. Hope to see you here next month! Starting this month, we plan on highlighting a troop every issue. Please continue to update your troop log in the Tours of Duty forum for a chance to get featured. This month we are highlighting John Henselmonster’s Nerdy Engagement! John and his fiancé Aimee took a unique approach to the traditional engagement photo session by not only showing their love for each other, but also their passion for Star Wars. We want to congratulate John and Aimee on their engagement and can’t wait to see what their wedding is going to look like! - Airborne Trooper • TD-82573