By Mr. Larry D Mccaskill (ACC )January 30, 2013
Five Army Contracting Command noncommissioned officers and their guests tripped the light fantastic while attending the Commander In Chief's Inaugural Ball Jan. 22 at the Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.
Staff Sergeants Christopher Mackie and Mario Thompson with ACC-New Jersey, Picatinny Arsenal N.J.; Roberto Zepeda and Larin Harris of the 722nd Contingency Contracting Team, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md.; and Jean Paul, 864th Contingency Contracting Team, Fort Belvoir, Va., were selected to attend the gala.
"I am very excited to be a part of this historic event," said Harris. "I have never had the opportunity to be a part of something even remotely like this."
"When I was told I was going to be able to attend I was on leave back in my hometown in Idaho," Harris said. "I was able to tell most of my family face-toface and see their reactions. They were all very happy and excited for my wife and me. No one in my family has ever been to something historic like this, so this will be an honor for them as well, having a family member be a part of this ceremony."
According to Command Sgt. Maj. John L. Murray, the ACC command sergeant major, each major command was allotted tickets with ACC initially being provided two.
"We received more names than the requirement asked for, but all of our personnel were selected to fill unfilled requirements from other units," he said. "The presidential inaugural ball is a special occasion and a once-in-a-lifetime event for the average citizen and Soldier. For this occasion, we wanted someone that would represent the unit and the Army well and who also deserved to attend."
Mackie said he was "very excited to be picked to attend. When I asked my date (Megan Clark) if she would like to go she had a huge smile on her face and instantly said yes. She then started talking about what gown she wanted to buy and then the following day we went to Lord and Taylor and bought a beautiful gown for the event."
Thompson looked at the opportunity to attend as a special privilege.
"I feel honored that I was selected to attend such a historical event. Words can't describe how grateful and blessed I am," he said. "My date was more excited than I was. She said she couldn't sleep and she immediately started looking for dresses and planning everything she needed to do in order to be ready.
"This will be the biggest event in my life thus far. I can't think of anything I have done that could match this," Thompson added. "I really would like to take a picture with the president so I can give it to my son."