Justin Timberlake said in July that he would gladly attend the Marine Corps Ball with Corporal Kelsey de Santis if his schedule allowed it, and the 30-year-old actor/singer held true to his word.
On Saturday, the "In Time" star attended the Basic School Instructor Battalion 236th Marine Corps Birthday Ball with Cpl. de Santis in Richmond, Virginia, and he says in a post on his website that it ended up being one of the "most moving" evenings he's ever had.
"I've always been very vocal about my support of our armed forces. I've always felt like they offer us the opportunity to live our lives freely without the fear that so many other nations have to endure...And they do it without asking anything in return," Timberlake writes, adding that he was "stoked" to be in attendance.
The boy band singer-turned-Hollywood-A-lister went on to describe the evening, which began with a few photo ops with other Marines, a little dancing and dinner, as well as a video tribute to what Marines have witnessed on the front lines that Timberlake says almost brought him to tears.
"It was a surreal moment to be in that room with so many of our great Marines who have such a different type of connection to those stories. One[s] that we who don't serve will NEVER understand," he writes. "I glanced around the room at young men and women, spouses and soldiers... At kids way beyond their years, really... All so deeply entwined. Not just by battle... but by having such life-changing experiences... and to not ever waver in their love and respect for our homeland."
Timberlake says he had the opportunity to get to know Cpl. de Santis and her "kick-ass" group of friends, and walked away in awe of their humility and authenticity.
"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 [much] younger than me," he goes on. "I have to say I had so much fun with Kelsey and her crew of friends...Classy Marines but, not without a great sense of humor. Real individuals, but not without a sense of community."
Timberlake closes with a request for his readers, regardless of their views on war, to send notions of gratitude to the armed forces however possible, be it with a letter, an email or picking up the tab on a round at the bar.
"To all of you that serve every day for us... Ensuring our freedom, I say: My deepest gratitude to you. I've met so many of my heroes, from Michael Jordan to Michael Jackson. And nothing makes me feel more honor and pride than when I get to meet one of you. Last night changed my life and I will never forget it," Timberlake says. "Thank you Corporal Kelsey de Santis. Thank you for inviting me. And thank you for being my hero."
JT is awsome! He took that old saying "if you get a chance "f" a marine" to heart!
Nice people are so awesome!
OOOO RAH Justin!
Corporal Kelsey de Santis is the only female instructor at the Marine Corps' Elite Combatives Center and is a ranked MMA style fighte Her youtube invitation was done in front of seven of the toughest Marine instructors imaginable. Maybe he needed a chaperone. Timberliine definitely showed class, but Corporal de Santis is truly the real deal and a class Marine: beauty,, brains and brawn. I was impressed by both of them.
I'm too 'seasoned' to have been a Timberlake fan, but what he's done and said in this instance shows how classy a man he truly is.
Isn't she that chick from the Abu Ghraib photos?
what an amazingly stunning story....i have just become a justin tmberlake fan....i wish we had more young men like him in this world.....
I expected that effect on Justin when I heard he'd accepted the offer. I always try to bring someone from the "outside" to my VN reunions. I see Justin's experience all the time.
His music makes me throw-up a little in my throat, but this really gives me a new perspective on him personally. Way to go Justin!
Very nice. It's things like this that shows that Justin could be with us for a long time.
Kelsey is a beautiful, classy looking lady. Kudos to Timberlake for carrying through with his promise.
Tons of respect for JT for going through with the date.
Justin – Nicely done!
You want to hate the dude for being good looking and singing in a boy band. But ya cant. He just seems like to nice a guy. Its hard not to like him. He reminds me of Old Hollywood. Where the people then had talent and where just lookin for their 15mins or reality tv show.
Yikes. This guy is scary. To smart and talented for me. Give me a dumb celebrity please that i'm more comfortable with. BTW, I DO like turtles people. The rest of you are posers.
I thought it was two words.
I always thought that Timberlake was a real Hollywood butt hole like most of the LA crowd, but what he did was a tremendous gesture and I really respect him. He gets the What-Ta -Guy award.
Dynamite! Great job, Justin.
@Ryan – Thank you for taking a little bit of time to understand my point, rather than just having a knee-jerk reaction like certain other individuals. You have my respect, and thank you for all you do!
@Ryan – thanks for taking the time to give a bit of thought to what my point is, rather than just having a knee-jerk reaction like certain individuals – you have my respect and thank you for all you do.
I can honestly say... no one in Hollywood has ever impressed until i hear about how & what Gary Sinise feels and does off camera... Now there's an unexpected second person... way to go Justin Timberlake, you make us all proud!
I don't ever write something like this. Justin Timberlake you are a Class Act. Hearing about the Kardashians etc really had left a bad taste in my mouth for Hollywood. You are Amazing Justin – Its nice to know there are people like You in the business. Im stunned.
Everyone, don't feed the troll. Just ignore Doug, because it is obvious he has no clue what he is talking about.
Anyway, it is nice to see so much support from celebrities. I love the fact that a lot of singers go on USO tours in support of our troops. I fully support Operation Shoebox, and think more people should.
And a military secret to everyone here, in the eyes of the military member....when they get support, in their eyes you are the celebrity. It means a lot when someone comes up and shakes your hand telling you thank you for your support.
Thank for your support Justin, it means a lot.
It was very nice of Justin to attend. I'm happy to see that he's not one of those high-falluting celebrities who only attend Hollywood balls and private celebrity parties, but he has never come off that way. Justin was always like the guy next door. I wish he really was next door...
You JT are a class act! You have my respect and adoration!
Justin is an awesome guy. I love him.
Support our veterans by going to the National Veterans Art Museum website and adopt a dog tag of one of our fallen men and women who served in the war Iraq, Afganistan and Global War on Terror via "Above and Beyond" link. This money donated will be used to support the expansion of the museum and art programs for veterans from all conflicts. The art in the museum is from veterans from all conflicts who are artist.
As a Marine Corp veteran, it is an honor to stand next to all my brother and sisters from all Armed Forces who give their lives to our American dream and the freedoms and rights we cherish.
Not to lump all celebs together, but after watching morons like Lohan and Kardashian, it's a pleasure to see JT. Just a good human being. And the honor was his.
Very nice Justin!
JT is a class act.
And, being a squid, I used to give Jarheads more grief than you could shake a stick at. BUT, I always knew they had my back. God bless them. NOTHING is too good for these guys (and girls).
If you have never dated or kissed a Marine your should raise your standards. Seems Justin did. Good on ya!
The CNN homepage link to this article has a typo. Says "Justin'as Marine Ball Experience." instead of "Justin's Marine..."
JJ you are so awesome!!!! I love Justin T!
Doesnt mean much coming from such a tool...
Justin has shown that he's a class act for sure.
Way to go Justin, Thanks for honoring our servicemen.
If only the rest of Hollywood could be half as classy.
Corporal Kelsey de Santis is a living doll. Mr. T was lucky she asked him to go. Very classy guy!
What a class act you are Mr. Timberlake!!
I agree with sharky's post. I don't get the celebrity worship thing anymore. They are just human beings like the rest of us. Sure they may be famous but they are still people. Most famous people are famous for not actually doing anything. My son is my hero and he is only 5 years old. He has cancer. He has endured much much more than most adults have and he does it with a smile. These are the real heros in my book.
Of course, if there is a party to attend, the Marine Corps Birthday Ball is the one to go to. No one, no organization I am aware of knows how to celebrate it's heritage and it's members than the USMC. They throw a birthday bash that is both moving and celebratory!
Have a new respect for Justin Timberlake. Everyone should support our military whenever they can.. As a retired Army Master Sergeant, it means a lot to see ordinary people supporting our troops
Geez some idiot comments again... Fyi, there is more than 1 marine ball. Mila Kunis' ball is on the 18th so stop bashing her before the ball actually takes place.
THANK YOU JUSTIN! You are a class act. I hear your date challenged you to a dance off. Who won? Tell the truth. LOL!
Sharky-- You should have ended it with the first sentence... "Because for one night he was being a civilian among celebrities. " K.I.S.S
Looking back in retrospect as a former marine many years ago returning from 2 tours of duty in Nam, I would have given anything for just one person, celebrity or not, to say a kind word to me or to thank me for what I did. Instead, we were collectively spit at, ridiculed, called mother-rapers and baby killers, an experience that I don't think I'll ever truly forget. So for a celebrity to take time out of their busy schedule to fly to Richmond, VA and attend the Marine Corps Ball, let alone to take a backseat to the true heroes of the festivities, definitely signifies to me a class act. Justin, Thank you from an old Marine.
Many people assume the reason i'm a supporter of the troops is because I served in the military. It actually stemmed from meeting someone a good 10 years before I went in. He had been in Nam and had seen things some people wouldn't even watch in a movie. we used to walk to school together a couple days a week. He said it was bad enough being there but what hurt him the worst was people spitting on him when he got off the plane coming home. I never forgot that look of pain in his eyes. You don't have to like war or agree with the job they are sent to do but it is their job and they are there when needed. Not all were volunteers thru the years but there is something to be said for those who will willingly lay down their lives, even for those who would spit on them. Thank you.
to Loopman – I know this doesn't make up for any of what you had gone through but let me say "thank you" from the bottom of my heart for ALL that you endured and did for our country.
I was born during the vietnam war. My father served 37 years in navy and air national guard. My mother told how people treated the soldiers and just can not understand it. I took it personally since my father, uncle and grandfathers was a vet as well. Thank you sir for serving our country!
This might be about 20 years or so late, but I would like to thank you Sir for your service to our country. I haven't served myself but I certainly respect and appreciate your sacrifices to our great nation. I hope others have tried to make up for the poor treatment you and your fellow soldiers received upon your return. I thought it was appalling treatment then (I was a teenager during the Vietnam war) and still do. So please accept my sincerest thanks for your service.
I know how you feel Loopman. It happened just a few years ago when people would stand outside military bases protesting the War in Iraq. We go into the service because we love our country and want to defend it. It is heart breaking too see people invading military funerals just so they can protest DADT. It is heart breaking to be called murders when all we did was follow orders from our Commander in Chief. And what is sad, a lot of people who are in the military also oppose some of the wars we go to, but we joined a swore an oath to follow the orders given to us.
The members of the miltary who come home from war with PTSD from seeing the most tragic events don't need to be spit at or called names. They need more support during that time than ever.
We serve our country with pride. We protect our fellow American's who oppose us. Why? Because we chose to defend our country as a whole, not just the ones who support us. I am willing to lay my life down for their freedoms. Why? Because I love my country and want to see it succeed.
Thanks for your service Loopman, I know you don't hear it enough.
Thank you, Justin, for doing this. Would like to see more celebrities do this.
JT seems like a great guy. I really can't understand how someone wouldn't like this guy.
JT is a seriously class act. Whatever your opinion of the various wars we're involved in, our armed forces deserve the greatest respect.
Well done, good sir!
"And they do it without asking anything in return" – is this true? I have always been under the impression that members of the military were paid for their service?
to Really? Yes, they do get paid for their service, however, the things they have to endure they VOLUNTEER for. My sister was in Iraq and my brother was in Iraq and Afghanistan. Soldiers risk their lives for us everyday so you can say stuff like that. Then they return and have to deal with protesters that wouldn't be able to do that in the countries they are protecting us from. Maybe you should have gone to the Marine Ball and watched the moving tribute. Next time you open your mouth, you should use it to thank a soldier!
@sisterofasoldier – no need to get all bent out of shape. I was just taking issue with the accuracy of one statement, that soldiers dont ask for anything in return. Right – they voluneer, just like I "volunteered" for the job I have – its the same thing – you go apply, get hired, and receive a paycheck. Yes, soldiers' line of work is more dangerous than mine – but that does nothing to change the fact that they chose it!! Next time you open your mouth, make sure you are actually responding and not just mindlessly blabbering.
......and "Maybe you should have gone to the Marine Ball" – and how exactly do you propose I would have gotten in when you need an invite from a marine – doofus!!!!
Really?! Yes they get paid but if you think any of them sign up for this for the paycheck you are sorely mistaken. Many of them do not make nearly what they deserve. My sisters family had to scrimp and save for every little thing since her husband made so little in the military. He still gave 20 years of his life to protect our country.
Paid.please they barely get cost of living most of them and they have to go into combat when ever they are told. You could not pay me enough. For some it is a good job and a way to an education that does not matter they protect ing our country and protecting our freedom. I am thankful and think the fact that they get paid is irrelevant. JT is a good man to recognize this. Good for him.
@Yea – I dont think you get my point (which was just a comment on the article, that it is inaccurate to say that they dont get anything in return) and I certainly dont get yours. I am guessing, based on the fact that there is no draft, that your sister's husband volunteered, right? I am also guessing that he knew a little bit about the job and pay before going in, right? Money is not either the only form of compensation – some people like the respect, or feeling that they are doing something right/good for their country, or patriotism. Ok, so he made a choice – it must have was worth it for him, or he should have changed jobs. As for what soldiers "deserve" – thats a whole different discussion.
Really? Get a life. Soldiers protect and serve for YOUR freedom. Yes, they should be paid for their services. Are they millionaires...No! They should be respected! Something I highly doubt you have any of (respect). Matter of fact, armed services are waiting for your to sign up. Seems to me you need a little taste of bootcamp to shake up some respect for the soldiers. Unless you have lived and walked in a person's shoes keep you idiot opinions to yourself. Lessons learned punk!
Pot calling the kettle black (respect)?
@pmn – youre a big tool (and not one of the sharp ones). Since you obviously cannot read, I will explain it to you: I do not disagree with anything you are saying. Where do I say soldiers are millionaires?? Where do I say that soldiers dont deserve respect? All I am saying is that being a soldier is a job, its a volunteer job, and they get paid for it. Thats it! What exactly is objectionable about that, you nitwit? Why dont you crawl back into your hole until you have something intelligent to say – in your case, im not going to hold my breath.
I served in the Marines and come from a long line of career military officers, including my father who was an Army combat vet of WW2, Korea, and Vietnam; and even he bristled at the non-sensical comment that all soldiers "fight for our freedom." He once told me that when our military invades foreign countries that pose no real threat to us (Iraq, Vietnam, Grenada) we are not fighting for our freedom. More accurately, my pop said, they are fighting for the freedom of a foreigner in his foreign country. The fighting in Iraq and the continued fighting in Afghanistan have absolutely nothing to do with my freedom here in the US.
Really?! Yes, we get paid. However, we don't ask for anything other than that in return, except RESPECT!! Yes, I volunteered to do this (I was out for 11 years and came back in '07 so that shows how dedicated I am to this.) I make hardly anything but yet support my family. I have been deployed or in training for a combined total of 2 years. I'm deployed right now for a year.
Very few in Hollywood now days would do something like what Justin did, and what Mila has agreed to. In the past we had John Wayne, Ronald Reagan, and other actors who supported the military, and were vocal about it. 99% of Congress probably has no military experience and yet feel they have the qualifications to dictate what happens.
We don't do this for any other reason than it is the right thing to do. We sacrafice families, education, everything to protect the US. I work with people who have high school educations and have been in for nearly 20 years because they love what they do.
I understand what your comment means, however, I think it could have been worded differently.
So getting paid for a job is the same as asking for something in return? 22 years ago, I didn't ask for a pay check. I volunteered to be a Marine. The pay check just came along with it, just like your job does. Now many people "ask" for things when they apply for a job. They negotiate for better pay, benefits, and job security. I don't recall any military member asking for anything when they volunteer. They get what they get or what is offered at the time. When your done hiding behind a keyboard though, make sure you say thank you to those that volunteered to protect your way of life.
Really?! They don't get paid nearly what you do to sit at your computer and type out your crap. Bet you wouldn't make through Boot Camp.
@USN Retired – you have no idea who I am or what I do, so why dont you bite me?
@e6alfa (Ret) – I dont know who "they" are, but when I was offered my job, I was given two choices, take it or leave it – which I think is pretty much the same choice the military gives. Im not hiding behind my keyboard and more than you are – give me your info and I'll come tell you everything I have posted here, directly to your face.
@Really?! Technically, no one asks for their paychecks. In the interview the boss says, " You do this work, and I will give you this money in return." A paycheck is just a given. If that is what you meant. I haven't actually seen you explain what you mean. Just putting people down for their responses to your un clear comment. Ryan said the same thing that others were saying to you, so why do you respect him and not the others? Cause he asked for it? He told you they volunteer and get paid for it but they also ask for respect. Your origional post made it sound like they ask for their paychecks and possibly handouts. You are a confusing individual. Also one who gets hurt easily. I see you replied with un kind comments to comments that weren't even directed at you. PMN for example. Lol! 12 much?
Great job keeping your word, Justin. Thank you for attending and I'm glad it was a positive experience for you.
"Your comment is awaiting moderation". No freedom of speech allowed on CNN I guess?
You seem to be suffering under the false impression that you have a right of free speech with regards to posting comments on CNN's articles – who do you think has guaranteed you that right?
Has it ever occurred to you that no one likes you? Considering your comments may have been dumb enough that people have reported it and gotten them deleted, or that you posted something that triggered CNN's flags?
It's a shame how people like you go around waving that "freedom of speech" clause so freely as if there were no consequences for your actions...
Justin is a class act. Too bad more in the spotlight don't participate in these selfless initiatives.
xxDougxx, JT does give of his time and money- To the Shriners' Childrens' Hospitals. If you've never heard of them, look it up. They're doing wonderful things for kids in need of expensive medical care that they wouldn't recieve otherwise. But I understand your being critical of media-hog celebs in general... Mr. Timberlake just doesn't seem to deserve the ridicule. That more people so willing to get involved with any good cause from all communities and backgrounds.
Shannon – My son is a patient at Shriner's. Until I read your post I forgot that Justin does support the hospital – every year with a celebrity golf tournament in Las Vegas. He really is a good guy! And Justin if you read this – Thank you for doing that! And to our Military – Thank you does not express the graditude I have for you. You deserve so much more then that! My Grandfather served in WWI and my Father-in-law is a Vietnam Vet. God Bless America!
Justin is a class act!
That's so awesome! It makes me happy when others help the public to realize what these soldiers really do fo us :)
Justin, thank you for taking notice and pointing out that our military are "true heros" and often go unnoticed in our society, which tends to idolize sports figures and Hollywood entertainers etc. I have a daughter serving in the military and my nephew was a Marine killed in Afghanistan just a year ago.
Justin your actions and words made my day!
I think he did a great thing by going... It's nice to know that some Celebs are doing more then cheating and drugs and other weird stuff to get in the lime light.
Finally! A celeb who actually cares and appreciates our military unlike some who only worry about getting their good side photographed.And how long their rehab stay is going to be. ALL celebs could stand to take some pointers from Justin. Way 2 go Justin!
Justin continues to impress me with his willingness to step in and help (there was an awards show where he filled in at the last moment, and made it the highlight of the evening...you'd never know from his performance that he was a replacement). Celebs don't *have* to do this; he certainly has enough attention on him that I don't see it as a publicity stunt. I see him as a nice young man who made some people's evening memorable. Please try to see it that way too, and don't spoil it with hateful remarks.
Apparently he didn't just make their evening memorable, they made his just as memorable.
Doug, you are an insensitive, and clueless person, and obviously don't know how to read. Noone was sucking up to him, only showing respect for WHAT he did, BUT MORE importantly for what he SAID!! And he is absolutely right! Every person of his stature could learn from him. He is a great example of how a celebrity should act, and anyone who wants to make light of what he did obviously doesn't understand the importance of it. God Bless our Military past, present and future!
Not true. I have the utmost respect for our military personnel. What I'm mocking is this celebrity-centric culture of the US and the fact that the people on this board are so brainwashed into idolizing them that they think this is some great act by Timberlake that should be praised. I mean seriously, all he did was go out one night. Did he ever serve, would he give up his fortune to help out families and veterans, would he make any real sacrifices? You are clueless.
It's easy for one to say what you did without being in his actual position... say you were making all the big bucks... would it even cross your mind to give some of it, or even go serve the military... maybe even do something worthwhile to help the communities that are struggling?
To me, most people (including me at times) will say these things to stars such as "does this person ever do anything to help others?" while we are sitting here behind our computers instead of going out to do something. Although I don't sympathize with celebrities, you can't take from the fact that he kept his word and went to the ball.
So how about you listing out your sacrifices now?
@Doug.....no one is idolizing Justin, only showing him the respect for taking time to honor a request from a Marine that asked for a date. He did it without asking for a fee, fan-fare or anything else and he now has a new respect for our service members that he did not have before so it is not idolizing him just to offer a simple thank you for what he did. His presence did not seem to distract from the tradition of the ball and he now has a new perspective that he didn't have before.
Fantastic! How refreshing to hear someone from the "celebrity" community praise this wonderful country and all that it has to offer! Thanks for sharing this, Justin!
As a retired Navy Chief. Thank you Justin. You r my new hero. This is very touching and a sincere thing you did. I know today ill b purchasing a new CD.
Buy the Social Network DVD while you're at it and see his killer performance.
I am an old vet and I say it was a very classy thing for Mr. Timberlake to do. Justin, thanks for being a patriot!
Thank you for serving our country and ensuring our freedoms and to you Mr. Timberlake, my respects.
I never liked his music and haven't thought much of his acting but I can honestly say I like the man now. Respect.
Way to go Justin and it says a lot about his character and it says a lot about Mila Kunis and Scarlett Johansson both didn't go. Spare me the "schedule conflict" either one of them could have flown in to Washington D.C. that day done the ball and flown back out that night it would have requiered no more than 6 hours of their time.
Brian, it is my understanding that the Ball that Mila was invited to is being held around the 18th of this month, and that she is going. Scarlet's invitation was turned down by her due to conflicting schedules.
It says a lot about you passing judgement on people without even getting your facts straight. Mila Kunis wasn't invited to that ball, she's attending a Greenville ball with her Marine date this week. Next time you try to be a smartass posting on the Internet, do a Google search beforehand...
You may want to know that the Marine Corp B-Day Ball is held on every military installation where there is a Marine Corps Unit – not just in DC.
The ball Mila was invited to hasnt happened yet. Give her a chance and if she doesnt go, then bash her, but at least wait till the date of the units Marine Corps Ball
That was genuine really nice. I didnt think he would go. Good for him.
It's nice to see a whole new side of JT. We're glad he went, learned something and can spread the word. America, land of the free, because of the brave. If you get a chance, thank a soldier.
Thankyou Justine. and thank you to all our troops keeping us free.
He's my new hero. Way to go Justin!
Congrats to Justin! We should all honor our serving military & our vets every day. I go out of my way to tap on a shoulder of a member of the military, & thank them for their service to our country. You always get a thank you with a big smile. Really, isn't it the least we can do? Have a good day everybody!
Ok, the real question, she is a very pretty young lady, did you at least kiss her good night?
thank you for making my laugh this morning..I havent seen anyone use butthole in a long time,lol
I guess you don't understand it because you ARE a butthole!
Because for one night he was being a civilian among celebrities. That night to him the Marines were the celebrities and he was just a guy. He crossed a boundary that has been set up by the entertainment business because celebrities are under such scrutiny, and watchful eyes and keep a distance enough to not mingle with the average or non-celeb people of this country. He didn't want to be Justin Timberlake the superstar that evening, he just wanted to be Justin Timberlake some guy in a room of Marines that serve and protect this country and he was giving them his utmost respect. They were the celebs that night, not him.
I note a little jealousy. Justin is an awesome entertainer and apparently someone with a huge heart.
perry blows goats for cash. i have proof.
Thank you Sharky, I agree.
I note a little stupidity....
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