Lee and I attended our 1st Dining Out or you could even say our very 1st Army event after being assigned to our very 1st unit. I can't say that it wasn't what I was expecting because I had no idea what to expect!
I'm glad I wore a long dress rather than a cocktail dress like it was suggested I wear by another Army wife. (She wore a short dress.) After looking around inside I started thinking how glad I am that I toot my own horn. (More on that tomorrow) Even something as small as a dress decision can be reflected poorly on you at an event such as this. And man...were there some poor decisions. I so wish I could have taken mental snap shots to share with you all. How funny would that have been if I had literally gone around and taken snap shots of all the boob-e showcasing and short O' so short dresses?! Here's us:
The evening started with a social cocktail hour.
They then asked for E6 and above to go on inside the ballroom and find a seat at a table while the others went through a reception line with the uppity-up; MUCH higher rankings. I was so glad that we got a good seat inside. I am def one of those kids that likes to sit as close to the front as possible to have a good viewing of what is happening on stage.
There was a Gavel presentation to begin the dinner. More like a meeting but whatev.
Then the Chaplain said a prayer. I've gotten used to hearing them all begin with, "Please join me in prayer as I pray in my faith and you in yours..."
Presentation of Colors was next.
MIA/POW Ceremony followed and it was really really neat. You see, all of our tables were round with black drapes. However, there was one table in the center of the ballroom with a white drape. During this ceremony, all the lights were dimmed and a spotlight was on that white table in the middle of the room. It was then described to us all how each item placed at the white table represents the soldier missing from tonight's event. How the white drape represents the purest of sacrifices...How the lemon represents the tears shed on their behalf, the empty seat represents their body that isn't among us...How their glass isn't full for they aren't here to drink fronm it...but the most touching part of all for me was when we were all asked to stand to toast a great thanks and share a moment of silence but not take a drink for they weren't here to drink the toast with us. So there we all stood holding our glasses high...and the moment was over.
Then there was a Building of the Grog. There was a giant container at the center of the stage in the front of the room. Several bottles were then emptied into the container. A huge bottle of tequila, a huge bottle of vodka, whiskey, red wine...etc. It was then stirred. Out of no where, people began to blurt out requests to the "Vice" for fines. There was a variety of silly violations printed on the back of the program such as having shoe laces left over right instead of right over left, not buying more than one drink at a time at the cash bar, not introducing your spouse before yourself...etc. Civilians were not included in the fines and thank goodness because I would have declined my fine. Thank you. Ha! The fine was to pay $.25 to the Grog and take a drink. Gross. I think the money rasied goes to the unit's FRG (Family Readiness Group). I thought it was neat that they made fun of themselves and had fun with the outrageous critiques. Reminded me of some of the silly things Lee would be evaluated on during his training. Ridiculous.
They gave out Awards...
And then they asked for a young enlisted man to come up to the stage. I thought he was introducing the next and last award for the evening, but NO! He started by saying that the day before was his birthday and he turned 25...how his girlfriend of 6 years has stood by his side and been his best friend...blah blah blah and then he came down from the stage and in front of EVERYONE got down on one knee and proposed!!! It was A-maze balls. I had no idea who she was but you know me- I had to meet them both. When the gavel went back into the box and the colors came down, everyone started to get up and I (of course) raced over to the newley engaged couple. I said, "I don't know you from Adam, but I have to tell you congrats and..." I gushed over the whole thing. I thought that was just too cute and I'm a sucker for mushy stuff. As Lee and I left them, I told them to live happily ever after. (of course)
Instead of changing clothes and heading back downstairs to hear the comedian and dance to the live band, Lee and I passed out. I barley got my makeup off before my eyes closed on me. Lee had gotten up way early to be at drill and we both had not slept a wink for he had his 1st drill that day with his new (and 1st) unit and I woke up everytime he reached for his phone to see the time to make sure he hadn't slept past his alarm. AND we didn't pack any clothes to change into. No one told us there would be an outfit change at 10pm!