Day 852 – 236th Birthday of the Marines Corps

Today marks the 236th birthday of the Marines Corps. This is special for me for several reasons. First, my husband is a former Marine. We first met about 4 months before he was deployed to Iraq and started dating 2 weeks before he left. I am grateful for that deployment because it caused me to fully trust God…about everything really. And it also grew my love for this guy who I met in a bar (the Marines also started in a bar, by the way) and it was, um, not your normal “blind date.” But THAT story is for another day. Today’s story is a few weeks after Bret arrived back in California from Iraq. I went out to visit. He also had gotten tickets for us to go to the Marine Corps Ball in Vegas! I was SOOOO excited!

It’s the day of the Ball. We left a little later than we’d like, but we still had time to get there. As we drove over the mountains and through the desert, we stopped several times to take pictures. It was just too beautiful!

About an hour outside of Vegas, Bret realizes he may have forgotten something for his uniform. Now, this is a big deal, you get a room full of Marines who know what is supposed to be on your uniform….you really can’t get away with going without! So we pull over, he looks at his uniform and, yep…it’s not all there. He only needs one piece actually, which I think made it even worse! So he calls a friend to see if he had an extra….nope….he also asks the friend what time the Ball starts….up to this point (and the rest of the time) we kept getting several different answers. I think this is because there are several things that happen (cocktail hour, cake cutting, dinner, ceremony, etc)….so, we decide to go on…and try and find a store.

We arrive at a gas station on the outside of the strip and look through the phone book and call various places that might have this piece that we need. We finally find one and head over. (this was all without a GPS mind you!) He runs in while I try to fix my makeup and hair. Runs back out, hallelujah, praise the Lord! OK, so now we have to stop to get his haircut! Yes, he needed a haircut. This is another thing that he would get called on. Understand that my poor boyfriend had just gotten back from Iraq and was on leave…so he wasn’t really around barbers that knew how to do the “military haircut” and he was on leave! So, we find one barber, walk in and there’s a 30 minute wait! Sorry, no time for that! Drive around some more and find one, and the hair stylist was really great! I think I remember she was pretty funny.

Ok! We’re almost set! We drive over to the casino where the Ball is taking place. While we’re driving, I change into my dress…the old “pull it over your head and yank your clothes from underneath”…the best part was that Bret didn’t even notice! He did one of those look overs and say, “when did you do that?!?!” Hilarious!

We get to the parking lot between the Tropicana and the Hooters casino. Only two more things! Bret has to get our tickets from his friend….in the 20th+ story of the Hooters casino! So Bret leaves me in the truck to put on his piece, which has to be at a VERY precise spot! I kept saying, you’ll just have to change it when you get back, but ok! It probably took Bret a good 20 minutes to get in and get the tickets, talk to his friends and come back. He fixes the piece, changes, and we take a look at each other and say, whew! Ok! We’re ready! But, we still don’t know the official start time! So, he calls a friend and asks if he’s at the Ball….”Oh yea man! It just ended!”

After all that, we missed it. ::sigh:: But I looked at him and said, I am dressed up nice, you’re dressed up nice, let’s go walk the strip or something! So we ended up in the MGM, grabbed a beer and walked through the casino. It’s still so funny to me that people just walk around with drinks over there! We found a sushi place and had a very nice time. The nice server (or another customer, I can’t remember now) offered to take our picture.

So, even though we didn’t make it to the Ball, it is still one of my favorite memories with Bret. I felt like we were in some slap stick comedy movie where everything that can go wrong, does. I love that even now, we can be in really crazy/bad situations and we can have fun with them. Sometimes the laughing at the situation is after, but still.