They arrived in uniforms, dresses, coats and ties. They were Marines and other veterans, Associate members, community leaders and supporters. They were tall, short, young and ... more mature. But they were all there for the Marine Ball.
As the social hour yielded to the formal ceremonies, all attending witnessed a formal birthday ball with the traditional cake cutting. This year the oldest Marine was John Murdoch while the youngest was Jamie Yakubsin. Master of Ceremonies Sandra Torres-Pintos narrated the ceremony that she also directed. The ceremony was highlighted by remarks from our Guest of Honor, Capt Reiss Tatum (USMC, Ret.) His presence was special as members of his rifle company (Lima, 3/5, Vietnam 1966) were in the audience.
We missed many at the ball, but two in particular: Bob Gasche, our perpetual "oldest Marine", and Mary Hildebrand, our rough and tumble Korea-era Marine. Bob was serving as Guest of Honor at a Ball in Brunswick Georgia and Mary was recovering from a bout with the flu.
The Commandant made some remarks and the Jim Yakubsin Vision Award was presented to Susan Dickinson.
As dinner was served, a USO Show was performed to honor our Korean War Era Veterans. TV20's David Snyder led the group with comedy, singing, dancing and music. The show was enjoyed by all.
Cody Anderson was our DJ and he took the evening over with his great mixture of old and new music. Raffle gifts were won. Our photographer took plenty of pictures of couple in front of the flags.
At the end of the night, we called it a good birthday ball. As we were tucking things away into boxes for the journey home, we began to talk about what we will be doing at next year's ball. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MARINES.