Let's Ban Celebrities From Military Balls

man taking a photo of two women and another man
(Charles Oki/DVIDS)

In my view you’ve got to be one lucky service member if you can not only get the attention of your celebrity of choice but also convince that person to attend a military ball with you.

Then again I’m an Army spouse. Sure our events have traditions that go along with them, but as far as I can tell there’s nothing involved that I’m supposed to get overly excited about.

Then there is the Marine Corps. Their birthday ball is a Big Deal, I mean a really Big Deal. First, it is steeped in very solemn tradition aimed at honoring fallen Marines. But there's a little bit more to it than that in my view. Like I've written in the past, they have cake. And amazing uniforms. And they get celebrities to come to their ball – lots of celebrities.

But now that the birthday ball season is slowly winding down with another set of celebrity appearances at Birthday Balls behind us (most recently Kim Kardashian), it seems that not everyone thinks celebrities at balls is a good idea.

Now, in my non-Marine-spouse view, celebrities at balls just make them that much more interesting and fun. Plus you’ve got to be a pretty supportive celebrity to go to a ball with a desperate young Marine you’ve never met.

But I ran across a post late last week on this blog’s Facebook page that pointed out that celebrities at balls take away from the solemnity of the event. Here is what the blog’s owner, Kristine, told us:

When a celebrity is invited to the event, it turns into a spectacle about the person in attendance, not focusing on remembering those who gave their lives and honoring the sacrifices made of those before us. The ball ceremony is never about spouses, girlfriends or anything else. It's about honoring the Corps.

She has a point there.

It turns out that this isn’t the first time this issue has been brought up (just the first time I’ve noticed it) – a Marine Corps Times story once talked about the disapproving emails the Marine who took Mila Kunis to the ball received from other Marines, including some who out ranked him. They thought, he said, that having a celebrity made the ball a red carpet event.

Kristine said she doesn’t think the Corps should outright ban celebrity invites to balls. Like she says, the military already tells us what to do with so much of our lives, do we really need another rule? But several commenters on the Facebook page said it should be banned – they said a celebrity appearance takes away from the seriousness of the ball.

So what do you think? Does the presence of a Kardashian take away from importance and traditions of ball? Or are we all over thinking this?

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