Of all the charity galas we attend in New York City, the Military Ball always feels the most purposeful. Not only do the funds raised go towards supporting our troops, but you also get to celebrate with the military themselves, raising a glass in their honor. The evening is full of traditions and American pride, and it really makes you feel lucky to be in the presence of our heroes.
As always, this year’s Military Ball was hosted by the Soldiers’, Sailors’, Marines’, Coast Guard & Airmen’s Club (SSMAC). And as you know from past posts, I serve as Vice President on SSMAC’s Junior Committee.
The evening began with cocktail hour. Most people look forward to the cocktail hour’s passed hors d’oeuvres and open bar. My friends and I, on the other hand, look forward to taking pictures in front of the step-and-repeat!
Then the party moved into the ballroom, where the color guard presented our flag.
Then there was a poignant ceremony featuring a missing man table, remembering those soldiers who are missing or have been killed in action.
Then the mood of the evening lifted back up when the NYPD Pipes and Drums entered the ballroom!
The Kings Point Military Academy provided further music.
And then the USO Show Troupe took over!
This is one of my favorite parts of the Military Ball. As the USO Show Troupe performs the armed service song for each military branch, active duty military and veterans stand when they hear their song. It’s a fun way to honor our soldiers, and get a feel for who is associated with which military branch.
Each year the Military Ball chooses a branch of service to salute. This year the United States Navy was honored, and we were honored to be in the presence of two of the Navy’s most distinguished members.
This first was Admiral John M. Richardson, Chief of Naval Operations. He’s the nicest guy with a great sense of humor, and Tiffany and I were honored to escort him to the stage. Afterwards I texted my brother (who’s also in the Navy) joking that I was hanging out with his boss.
“Don’t mention me.”
The Admiral received the Distinguished Military Leadership Award, rightfully so!
The second was Captain Tammie Jo Shults, the former Navy fighter pilot and heroic Southwest pilot who safely landed flight 1380 back in April. With her flight crew standing next to her, she received the evening’s Service to the Nation Award (also rightfully so)!
Greg and Mike were lucky enough to be able to escort the Captain to and from the stage.
And we were all lucky to meet her. Not only is she an American hero, but she is a warm, genuinely kind person who went out of her way to make sure everyone at the event felt important.
Then after the speeches and the ceremonies, it was time to dance!
And, as it turns out, no one hits the dance floor quite like the United States Navy!
P.S. My dress is by Chiara Boni La Petite Robe. You can shop the designer here.