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Hello to all!

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Matthew of the Isles:
Well, I've never quite known how to begin introductions properly, so I believe that I'll simply start rambling in a hopefully-coherent and informative manner.

As you can tell, my name is Matthew. I'm "of the Isles," due to hailing from the beautiful and magnificent Hawaiian Islands, though I am currently attending graduate school in Huntsville, Alabama. I'm a graduate student of History, and currently working as a Research Assistant to the University, in exchange for tuition and a (very modest) stipend. Given my job, I have to be at least passingly-familiar with a wide array of historic periods, but I've always held a special place for ancient and medieval studies. My mother was also a historian, a polyglot who speaks English, French, Latin, Hawaiian, and (some) German, though after she suffered a series of debilitating strokes when I was a child, she finds some difficulty keeping her languages straight, and pronouncing certain terms. I'm nowhere near as accomplished a scholar as she is, though. She used to read me Arthurian legends and stories of luminaries from the past. My father was a career soldier in the US Army, Military Police Corps, who served honorably for over twenty years. His career came to an abrupt end with a broken neck during his service. He survived, and is even fortunate enough to have escaped permanent paralysis, but that did leave me with two disabled parents to care for from a (relatively) young age of nineteen.

Years later, I was able to return to college to complete my education, and now I'm in a good place in life. I had been contemplating putting together a kit, mainly for my own self-expression rather than out of any desire to be repeatedly struck in the head with sticks, and as I searched for information about how to build and strap a shield, I happened across this forum. I was extremely impressed by both the level of expertise and the cordial atmosphere found on this forum, and this good impression was only confirmed and compounded when I discovered that the senior members of this forum belonged to a knightly order named in honor of Sir William Marshall. I really must emphasize how rare it is, as a historian, to find a figure whose actions really do live up to his reputation. I was struck by a desire to join this forum and to pursue both the kit, and more importantly, the Code. The expertise, mentoring and fraternity that I've seen on display here makes me believe that I really can achieve knighthood.

Jon Blair:
Welcome to our noble assembly.

Sir Patrick:
Hail and well met!

Welcome to the community!



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