True to his word, Justin Timberlake attended the 236th Marine Corps Birthday Ball Saturday evening as the date of Corporal Kelsey De Santis.
The "SexyBack" singer/actor had previously accepted the invitation in July after De Santis asked him publicly over YouTube to attend the event. "If you can't go, all I have to say is 'cry me a river,'" she said, referencing one of the 30-year-old's hits.
Yesterday, Timberlake took to his official blog to write about the night, calling the event "one of the most moving evenings I've ever had."
Of his date De Santis, Timberlake wrote, "She seemed to me to be so humble and honest ... Very cool. She also simultaneously seemed like she was nervous about the whole evening and if I was going to enjoy myself ... 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! It hit me all of a sudden that these were the type of people that look after us and our freedom ... Humble, concerned for others before themselves ... This was the type of person our Marine Corps was building. I was really blown away."
On the event itself, Justin praised De Sanits's fellow Marines and their commitment to country.
"I glanced around the room at young men and women, spouses and soldiers," he wrote. "At kids way beyond their years, really ... All so deeply entwined. Not just by battle, even though we who have never endured anything remotely close to those experiences and have NO position to comment on ... But, by having such life-changing experiences through them and to not ever waver in their love and respect for our homeland. That's what I saw ... I felt so proud to be there. I felt like I was getting a chance to be among my heroes. It's funny too because a lot of them are SO younger than me."
Finally, he asked others to show their thanks to those serving in the armed forces, writing: "To people like me who get to benefit from this type of person ... One with character and courage. With strength and bravery. With humility and honor ... I say: Send your thanks. Do it however you can. Write a letter, type an email ... Hell, 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."
"Thank you Corporal Kelsey De Santis," he concluded. "Thank you for inviting me. And, thank you for being my hero."
You can check out the full blog entry here.