“To the United States Army”

On Saturday night, we attended an Army ball in Crystal City. It was our second time attending this particular ball (the ball last year was cancelled due to sequestration) and we couldn’t have asked for a better evening out. It was great knowing quite a few of the attendees (we had just moved to the area shortly before attending the last one) and seeing familiar faces.


Clay was at a conference all weekend in the DC area so the ball was one of the few times I actually saw him over the past few days. And he left again this morning on TDY so it’s back to business as usual around these parts. But I am incredibly thankful to have been able to dress up and spend a handful of hours socializing and dancing together. He has missed a number of formal functions due to deployments so the fact that he is home and able to attend such events is enough to put a big smile on my face. And the food was about as good as hotel banquet food can be, the alcohol was flowing, and the band played a great selection of 60’s dance classics…what is there to complain about (other than the outcome of the Clemson/FSU game, of course)?


We’ve come a long way since our first military ball together – he was a 2nd year cadet and I was college freshman completely overwhelmed by the pomp and circumstance. Thirteen years later and now we feel like old pros. I remember attending an Army ball when Clay was a 2nd Lieutenant and thinking that the officers in Mess Dress looked so much older and so much more experienced. And here we are now. This particular ball was a little classier than some of the {fun} combat brigade balls we’ve attended in the past – there was no grog and I only spotted one inappropriate dress (complete with a tiara!), but despite the lack of rowdiness, we still had a fantastic time. I know that not everyone enjoys military balls but I absolutely adore being able to experience the tradition and established formal practices every once in a while.


We did manage to follow the Clemson/FSU game on our phones and we ventured down to the hotel bar to catch a few plays. Sadly the game did not end in our favor but we didn’t let that ruin our night. Although, one of the servers taking away my tiramisu before I was finished almost did (Kidding. Sort of). And aside from carrying on a conversation with a Colonel with lettuce in my teeth, I didn’t have any gaffs. Please tell me that I am not the only one out there to have an irrational fear of spilling a beverage on a General Officer…


11 thoughts on ““To the United States Army”

  1. Amanda @ SOTC September 22, 2014 / 5:24 pm

    You all look great!! I enjoy military balls too.. something about the formality of the event just speaks to my inner old school girl.

  2. Jessie Nelson September 22, 2014 / 6:03 pm

    It looks like you hit the jackpot with that beautiful gown! And men in uniform always look good. I sure wish we had more excuses to dress up–even if just for a weekend date with our Honey. What a fun night out!

  3. Alison V. September 22, 2014 / 8:47 pm

    You look great! I love military balls, can’t wait for our in November 🙂

    • Karen September 25, 2014 / 7:42 am

      Thank you Alison!

  4. Jenny @ Creatively Blooming September 22, 2014 / 9:32 pm

    You look fantastic! I love getting all dressed up for military balls! We have the Navy Ball in a few weeks, and I cannot wait! I’ve never spilled anything on a General, but I did knock over a glass of wine at our table once. Thankfully it was white wine, and thankfully there was no brass sitting at our table. But geez – do we really need ALL of those dishes on the table?

    • Karen September 25, 2014 / 7:42 am

      Thank you Jenny! Have a wonderful time at the Navy Ball – I bet you will look gorgeous. And girl – I have knocked over my fair share of wine glasses at tables. Never at a ball though. 🙂

  5. Sara September 23, 2014 / 12:34 am


    You guys look amazing. I love military balls and remember going to my share of them in Europe when Tom was stationed in Germany. As someone who jumps at any chance to don a ball gown or sari, I love these kinds of traditions.


    • Karen September 25, 2014 / 7:41 am

      Thank you Sara. I am always game to don a ball gown as well. I haven’t worn a sari yet though…maybe someday!

  6. Heather K September 24, 2014 / 5:05 am

    Your ball in Crystal City brings back some wonderful memories my first & only Army Ball was in DC while my husband was serving in the Old Guard – 3 1/2 years later I’ll be attending my next this Dec and I’m pretty excited 🙂 we have only one battalion out here and have built a nice community so I think it will be fun! You look beautiful by the way 🙂

    • Karen September 25, 2014 / 7:41 am

      I bet it will be a blast! I tend to enjoy the smaller functions more so than the huge affairs.

  7. Sarah October 2, 2014 / 2:07 pm

    You look gorgeous!! I love balls. We were supposed to have one in June, then it got pushed to July, then Sgt. So and So in charge of planning forgot to reserve the hotel so, needless to say, it never happened. I was so looking forward to seeing how inappropriate girls would get with their dresses!

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