Last night we attended Tim's battalion's winter formal at the Camino Real Hotel. It's a regal looking hotel in downtown El Paso and was decorated beautifully for the holidays. This was our fifth military ball, which is really a glorified prom for adults. We started the evening at the cocktail hour, visiting with all of Tim's buddies and their wives. Before entering the ballroom we went down the obligatory receiving line where you shake hands with all the "bigwigs." After that, the battalion commander spoke, followed by the brigade commander - the first female aviation brigade commander. Then we watched a moving video made by one of the unit's soldiers illustrating the deployment and homecoming ceremonies. There was also the famous "grog ceremony" where each commander pours alcohol (representing something from the aviation community) into a mock hellfire missile. Tim's portion (rum) was meant to represent salt water, as the first army aviation aircraft was launched from an aircraft carrier. He put on a production, as usual =), which had everybody in stitches.
Before dinner, there was also a little award ceremony where senior aviators received the St. Michael Award, our battalion Family Readiness Group Leader received an Our Lady of Loretto Award, and I received the Yellow Rose of Texas, along with the other company FRG Leaders. I have no idea what it really is, ha, but it was a nice surprise to be recognized at the ball. The award is signed by Rick Perry and apparently there are some privileges that come along with it (as the certificate states). Maybe I get to cut in line at the capitol or something! This is probably our last ball for a couple years, as we head into grad school and then journey on to West Point, so we enjoyed dressing up and visiting with friends.