Justin Timberlake took Corporal Kelsey De Santis to the Instructor Battalion Marine Corps Ball in Richmond, Virginia on Saturday night, fulfilling a promise the pop star made over the summer. The singer agreed to the date with De Santis after publicly encouraging his Friends with Benefits co-star Mila Kunis to accept a similar invitation from a member of the Marine Corps. De Santis reached out to Timberlake in a YouTube video.
Timberlake wrote about his experience at the Marine Corps Ball in a post on his website yesterday. “I had the opportunity to sit with Kelsey, get to know her and get a tiny glimpse into what her life as a Marine was like,” he wrote. “She talked about her training in mixed martial arts with a passion, a discipline, and a respect. It reminded me of how I hear my favorite athletes talk about their sport, or how I hear my favorites among my peers in music and film talk about their craft.”
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“It hit me all of a sudden that these were the type of people that look after us and our freedom,” Timberlake continued. “Humble, concerned for others before themselves. This was the type of person our Marine Corps was building. I was really blown away.”
Later in the post, the singer said that his experience at the ball changed his life, and that he was nearly moved to tears by a video montage featuring footage of the attacks on Pearl Harbor in 1941 and the World Trade Center in 2001. “I felt so proud to be there,” says Timberlake. “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.”