My First (and Last) Air Force Ball



For years I’ve watched as my friends get all dolled up each year and go to their respective military balls. I stare at their pictures of them in their gorgeous formal gowns, with their spouses by their side looking dashing in their dress uniform.

I’ve always wondered when it would be my turn. I didn’t even know if my husband’s unit did a ball because in 13 years of marriage, he had never once mentioned it.


Well, being a Key Spouse has its advantages. You see, as the Key Spouse, I receive emails about all the events coming up on base. So last year when I received the notification about the Air Force Ball, I was so excited! I jumped all over it and immediately showed it to my husband and told him I wanted to go. 

You want to guess what he said? 

“Ugh. I hate going to those things. I have to wear my dress blues and it’s such a pain.” 

Yep. That’s right. That’s why in our 13 years of marriage he had (purposefully) never brought it up. He doesn’t like attending formal events. 

Well, I LOVE them! I love putting on a formal gown, doing my hair and makeup, putting on new jewelry and going out on a date night. The problem is getting my husband to agree to attend such an event. 

So I let it go. Well, for a few days. Then I brought it up again. I had decided there was only one way he was going to go. I had to bargain with him.

I promised him that if he took me, he would only have to take me once, and we’d never have to go again. I just wanted to go once. 

Guess what? I won! He agreed to go. Despite not enjoying formal events (or really, wearing his dress blues), he said he would go because I deserved it. Don’t we all, ladies? We hold down the fort at home while our husbands are gone for long periods of time. We serve, too, and so we deserve special treats like attending the military ball. 

So I got my gown (which I found at a consignment shop for only $30!), shoes and jewelry.

But mother nature had other plans.

A large hurricane blew through South Carolina the weekend of the ball, and it was postponed. Unfortunately, the date it got moved to didn’t work for us, so we were unable to go last year. I kept my dress and told my husband he wasn’t out of the woods yet. We’d be going this year.

When that first Air Force Ball notification hit my inbox this year, I sent it to my husband. So he put together a table of members in his unit and we went to the ball. And as much as he tried to complain about having to wear his dress blues, he really had a great time. After all, how can you not enjoy an evening where they put the dessert on the table before dinner?


We enjoyed the company of friends from his unit, listened to a great speaker, had some delicious food, and had a wonderful time dancing. And I was serious about the dessert. It was already on the table when we sat down, before any salad or bread even. And, yeah, you know we all sampled that first. 

AF Ball

So that’s the story of what was my first and last Air Force Ball. It was finally my turn, and it was wonderful. 

Have you been to your military ball? Tell us about it!