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2017 Military Ball

It feels like every weekend there’s at least one major charity ball in NYC. They all support good causes, of course, but the Soldiers’, Sailors’, Marines’, Coast Guard & Airmen’s Club’s (SSMAC’s) Military Ball stands out for making guests really understand the importance of what the event supports, and feel like they’re part of something that matters.

In fact, it was at last year’s Military Ball that I first decided to join SSMAC’s Junior Committee. That’s how much the ball affected me.

2017 SSMAC Military Ball - New York City - Wanderlust in the City

© Annie Watt

2017 SSMAC Military Ball - New York City - Wanderlust in the City

© Annie Watt

2017 SSMAC Military Ball - New York City - Wanderlust in the City

© Annie Watt

2017 SSMAC Military Ball - New York City - Wanderlust in the City

© Annie Watt

2017 SSMAC Military Ball - New York City - Wanderlust in the City

© Annie Watt

It was so exciting to see our President (of the Junior Committee, not the U.S.!) awarded for all of the work she’s done over the years.

2017 SSMAC Military Ball - New York City - Wanderlust in the City

© Annie Watt

2017 SSMAC Military Ball - New York City - Wanderlust in the City

© Annie Watt

So of course the entire Junior Committee came out to support her!

2017 SSMAC Military Ball - New York City - Wanderlust in the City

© Annie Watt

2017 SSMAC Military Ball - New York City - Wanderlust in the City

2017 SSMAC Military Ball - New York City - Wanderlust in the City

As consequential as the evening is, it’s also fun, with performances by military bands, the USO Show Troop, and NYPD Emerald Society Pipes and Drums.

2017 SSMAC Military Ball - New York City - Wanderlust in the City

© Annie Watt

2017 SSMAC Military Ball - New York City - Wanderlust in the City

© Annie Watt

2017 SSMAC Military Ball - New York City - Wanderlust in the City

© Annie Watt

2017 SSMAC Military Ball - New York City - Wanderlust in the City

© Annie Watt

2017 SSMAC Military Ball - New York City - Wanderlust in the City

2017 SSMAC Military Ball - New York City - Wanderlust in the City

2017 SSMAC Military Ball - New York City - Wanderlust in the City

© Annie Watt

The most significant moments in the evening, however, touch you to the core and remind you of how grateful we are for all of the men and women in uniform who dedicate their lives, and sometimes give them, to protecting our freedom and way of life. The Military Ball honors all service members and shares stories, videos and images that portray both the lighthearted and fun aspects of being in the military, as well as the sacrifices our soldiers make on a daily basis.

2017 SSMAC Military Ball - New York City - Wanderlust in the City

And, most poignantly, the ball honors fallen, missing or imprisoned service members with a missing man table.

2017 SSMAC Military Ball - New York City - Wanderlust in the City

© Annie Watt

Several key members of the military are awarded every year at the ball, and this year, as a SSMAC Junior Committee member, I had the honor of escorting both the Lieutenant General Brain D. Beaudreault, the United States Marine Corps’ Deputy Commander for Plans, Policies and Operations, and Colonel Jack H. Jacobs, Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient, to the stage to accept their accolades.

2017 SSMAC Military Ball - New York City - Wanderlust in the City

© Annie Watt

After the awards, speeches, music and dinner, the fun continues.

2017 SSMAC Military Ball - New York City - Wanderlust in the City

2017 SSMAC Military Ball - New York City - Wanderlust in the City

2017 SSMAC Military Ball - New York City - Wanderlust in the City

And there’s dancing for the rest of the evening.

2017 SSMAC Military Ball - New York City - Wanderlust in the City

© Annie Watt

2017 SSMAC Military Ball - New York City - Wanderlust in the City

© Annie Watt

If you only become involved in one charity in New York City, it should be SSMAC. You can find out more information, as well as donate, here. It’s such a worthwhile way to spend your time, and has been one of the most rewarding things I’ve done this past year.

Thank you to the men and women who serve our country in uniform. We couldn’t be more grateful to you.

~A

P.S. My dress is by Nha Khanh.

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