I just wanted to note the impact that you guys have made on my personal life. Alot of you may not understand the life of a Marine, or may have not given it any thought before. I go to work on base every day, and I do what I'm told to do all day long, from the time that I get there, to the time that I'm told to go home, and reminded to be 15 minutes early the next day. I delegate smaller duties to the junior Marines beneath me, but for the most part, I'm just following orders. I'm up at 5:45 in the morning, so I can have enough time to slug down some coffee and make it to work a little extra early. When I get there, there is no such thing as "busy work". There's WORK. And I work all day.
A Marine's personal life is secondary to his professional life, because a Marine is a Marine 24 hours a day. Before I met you guys, I came home at the end of the day, and did whatever came to mind to pass the time before I went to bed. Usually nothing consequential... a PS2 game, browsing the internet, experimenting in the kitchen, reading one of my many Stephen King or Star Wars: NJO books. I realized today, after a little over a month with you guys, that my afternoons are not "busy work" anymore. Your costume may be just a hobby to you, but I've realized that mine is much more to me. You guys have given me something to completely focus all of my creative juices on, new things to learn, a ton of goals to work toward. My wife has said that I seem to have more energy lately, that I'm not so tired when I get home from work anymore, because I'm looking forward to working on my project, posting new pictures and updates, reading about other member's projects, reading advice offered to me, offering advice that I myself have only just learned. A month ago, I had never touched bondo or fiberglass. I never would have imagined in my life that plastic For Sale signs could be turned into something so freaking cool as a Mandalorian helmet with a little cutting and some superglue.
I offer thanks to every one of you who have helped change my life. You guys are the best.
Cheers to all, and Merry Christmas.