Saturday was a big night for Jesse and I. It was the first military ball that either one of us had ever been to. All that time spent hanging around with the Army and Air force and somehow our first ball is with the Marines. Not what I expected but the experience was amazing.
We were fortunate to have a friend come up from Lackland into San Antonio to watch the little ones for us so Jesse and I could enjoy the night without any of our normal distractions. It was weird to actually do something without kids running all over and causing all sorts of destruction in their tiny little wakes.
One of the things I enjoyed the most is all the tradition and ceremony that goes along with the Marines. The swords, the cake ceremony (which Jesse was a big fan of), the saluting, and a handful of other symbolic events.
I’m not sure if it’s because I never did this sort of thing with the AF or if we are just to young of a branch to have any traditions but I never experienced anything like it before. Granted the Corps is now 238 and the Air Force isn’t even close to hitting triple digits. Whatever the cause, it was an honor to be a part of their night.
After the formalities I got handed the mic for my part. I feel like it was a good speech, but, like usual, I always think of things I should have said or added after the fact. Of course I had to throw in some jokes and even tried to take a few pictures of the audience before I started which they got a kick out of. They all ended up blurry but it was still fun doing it.
I shared my story and some of what I’ve learned through it all. I talked a lot about how trying to help others has in turn helped me in so many ways. I tried to relate my story to the more common trials that everyone deals with at some point in life. I didn’t want to just tell a story. I wanted to try to relate it to them.
One of the things I do remember saying more than once is that your perspective decides how your life goes. You can choose to have a good day or you can let the events of that day decide for you.
All in all I feel like it was pretty good. I got a lot of compliments on it and Jesse said I did great so I figure if they all liked it then it should be good for me too.
After the speeches it’s part of their custom to present the guest of honor (me) with a gift to show their appreciation. I’m guessing they had been discussing things with Jesse because their gift is a big drum cymbal with two plaques on it.
One has their unit patch and the other has the date and event as well as a little thank you message.
Once that was over they called Jesse up in front of everyone. If you know her you can guess how excited she was about that ha ha. They gave her some beautiful flowers and a sweet plaque that she is already planning on putting up in her office.
Once that was over it wrapped up the formal part of the night and we just got to mingle, eat some amazing food, and enjoy the night.
Jesse and I were both honored to attend this ball. We are very grateful to those who invited us, babysat, dog sat, and took care of us at the hotel. It was night that neither of us will soon forget.