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Justin Timberlake Attends Marine Corps Ball: 'One of the Most Moving Evenings I've Ever Had'

by Catherine Lawson, posted Nov 14th 2011 5:55AM
Justin Timberlake, Kesley De Santis, Marine Corps BallBack in the summer, when they were promoting their new movie, 'Friends With Benefits,' stars Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis agreed to attend Marine Corps Birthday Balls with service personnel who'd asked them to be their dates. Many commentators doubted that the stars would make good on their promise and actually attend, but Timberlake did this past weekend. And, what's more, he says he had a great time.

On Saturday night Timberlake escorted Corporal Kelsey De Santis to The Basic School Instructor Battalion 236th Marine Corps Birthday Ball at the Greater Richmond Convention Center in Virginia. Writing about the evening on his blog Timberlake said he was "so proud to be there. I felt like I was getting a chance to be among my heroes. ... I had so much fun with Kelsey and her crew of friends. They were just really nice people."

He added that he had to leave to catch a plane, but managed to first tell Kelsey and her comrades how much attending the Ball -- "one of the most moving evenings I've ever had" -- meant to him. "They made me feel so welcome to be there and I'll never forget it." He also passed on a top tip for anyone wanting to show their gratitude to service men and women: "Buy 'em a beer next time you run into someone from our Armed Forces in a bar. When they say thank you for that drink that cost you 3 bucks, they'll mean it. They won't take it for granted and, they won't forget it."

The whole take-a-celebrity-to-the-ball fad came about after Marine Corps Sgt. Scott Moore asked Mila Kunis to be his date via YouTube. His video became a viral hit and Kunis was put on the spot by a Fox TV reporter who asked her during an interview if she'd go to the ball with him. Timberlake encouraged her to "do it for your country" and said he'd work on it on Moore's behalf: "This needs to go down." (Despite rumors that she'd pulled out, Kunis' reps have confirmed that she will accompany Moore to the ball in Greenville, North Carolina on Saturday night.)

So, De Santis, a mixed martial arts trainer, stepped up to even the score and asked Timberlake out: "You want to call out my girl Mila? Well, I'm going to call you out and ask you to please come to the Marine Corps Ball with me. ... If you can't go, all I have to say is, cry me a river."

True to his word, Timberlake donned his tux and took De Santis to the ball. Local news station WTVR quoted the wife of a marine at the ball saying that the actor and singer posed for pictures and "seemed like a normal guy."

Paying tribute to his date, Timberlake said that they had plenty of time to chat before being joined in the ballroom by her comrades Saturday night, and he was "blown away" by the fact that she was worried he wasn't having a good time. "I have to tell you, it's not every day that I meet a 23 year old girl and she's more worried about if I'm having fun or if I'm comfortable!"

Follow Catherine on Twitter: @TVCLaw.

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G Smith

That's so awesome that Justin followed through on his commitment and go to the ball. It really shows the type of person he is. And I would think getting a chance to really thank members of the armed forces for their service, in person, would also be an exciting thing. We all owe them SO much!!

Very cool story !

November 14 2011 at 10:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Cool, that he decided he was just another American and also seemed to feel honored to attend the ball. The Jarheads do up their birthday really well and I am sure there were events there that opened his eyes to things he had seldom, if ever, thought about. I am also glad he said he had a good time and enjoyed the company. I met a few celebrities over the years when serving in remote areas (james Gavin, Martha Ray, Raymond Burr to name a few from 1964-67) and provided secruity for Bob Hope and some others. They all seemed to respect and appreciate the troops.

November 14 2011 at 10:19 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Justin, I don't know how tall you are; but, in my book your the tallest guy around Hollywood... You have elevated yourself to the old and true tradition of the "Real Stars" of Hollywood; who attended the Marine Corps ball on a regular basis...

November 14 2011 at 10:12 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Absolutely awesome Justin. Thought you were a classy person before, but this shows that you have an appreciation for our armed forces and for you to honor that request, shows the character of a true patriot. Being in the midst of our military had to have truly been an unforgettable experience. May all of our men and women serving in the armed forces stay safe and healthy during the next holiday months so that you can all come back to your families and friends. I am so proud to be an American and thank you for your unwavering courage and sacrifice. God bless America!!!

November 14 2011 at 9:55 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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