Sill Soldiers attend inauguration ball
February 1, 2013
FORT SILL, Okla.-- Two of Fort Sill's finest represented the installation at the Commander-in-Chief's Inaugural Ball Jan. 21 in Washington, D.C.
Sgt. Benny Stetson, third quarter Noncommissioned Officer of the year, and Sgt. Spencer Black, Soldier of the Year, along with other guests of the armed forces took in the festivities at the ball, which recognized military members and their families.
"It was an honor, a privilege to represent the NCO corps and Fort Sill at such a distinguished event," said Stetson, 66th Forward Support Company, 3rd Battalion, 13th Field Artillery. "It was actually our first ball, so it was quite an experience."
Stetson said he received word from Command Sgt. Maj. Dwight Morrisey, Fires Center of Excellence and Fort Sill CSM, that he was selected to attend the ball about five days before the inauguration. His wife, Melissa, accompanied him on the trip. They stayed at hotel not far from the Washington Convention Center the site of the ball.
It was two weeks before the inauguration, when Black's commanders told him to pack his bags because he would be going to the ball.
"It was a great honor to be selected from the 20,000 Soldiers on post to represent the entire post," said Black, 3-13th FA. "I thought that was a neat experience."
Performers at the ball included Alicia Keys, Jennifer Hudson and Chris Cornell. Black and Stetson described the atmosphere of the ball as exciting.
"All the branches were there and there was time to mingle with everybody," Black said.
Black said he met Medal of Honor recipient Sgt. 1st Class Leroy Petry.
"He's a really great guy, really down to earth," said Black. "That was quite an honor and I got my picture with him, too."
There was time for sightseeing and the Soldiers took in the monuments surrounding the National Mall.
"I really liked the Washington Monument," Black said. "I really admire George Washington and what he did for our nation."
Stetson said it was his first trip to Washington, D.C.
"We were able to see the Vietnam Memorial, the Korean War Memorial and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier," he said. "It was very emotional."