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Air Force Ball commemorates past, future

The Tinker Flying High Band pulled 2005 Air Force Ball attendees to their feet for dancing.  The band and dancing opportunities return for this year’s celebration held Sept. 14 at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum. (Air Force photo by Margo Wright)

The Tinker Flying High Band pulled 2005 Air Force Ball attendees to their feet for dancing. The band and dancing opportunities return for this year’s celebration held Sept. 14 at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum. (Air Force photo by Margo Wright)

Uniforms, photos and memorabilia from past wars were displayed at the 2006 Air Force Ball by members of a 45th Infantry Division Museum-designated organization. The organization will return for this year's ball to display more historical military artifacts. (Air Force photo by Margo Wright)

Uniforms, photos and memorabilia from past wars were displayed at the 2006 Air Force Ball by members of a 45th Infantry Division Museum-designated organization. The organization will return for this year's ball to display more historical military artifacts. (Air Force photo by Margo Wright)

TINKER AIR FORCE BASE -- Sept. 14 should be a night to remember.
   Nearly 600 Tinker Airmen are expected to attend the 60th Annual Air Force Ball at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City. Commemorating the theme, "Celebrating the past and serving the future," officials said they hope the night's event is enjoyed by all.
   "It will be a top-notch, grand event," said Capt. Troy Kinion, Air Force Ball point-of-contact for the 72nd Air Base Wing.
   The six-hour event, beginning with cocktails at 6 p.m. and the formal program at 7 p.m. will mix tradition and history with dinner and dancing. Music will be performed by the Tinker Flying High 18-piece band.
   Mess dress is mandatory for officers and mess dress or semi-formal attire is acceptable for enlisted military members. Civilians are expected to dress for a black-tie affair.
   Officials said the ball will kickoff with the Honor Guard presenting the colors and a special guest singing the national anthem. Following toasts recognizing dignitaries, there will be a prisoner-of-war and missing-in-action ceremony.
   Video presentations and speeches commemorating the 60th anniversary of the Air Force, 50th anniversary of the 3rd Combat Communications Group and 30th anniversary of the Airborne Warning and Control System are also expected. The evening's speeches will be given by guest speaker Brig. Gen. Michael A. Longoria, special assistant to the A-5 at Air Combat Command at Langley Air Force Base, Va.; Col. Lori J. Robinson, 552nd Air Control Wing commander; Col. Mark Correll, 72nd ABW and installation commander; and Col. James Appleyard, 3rd Herd commander.
   Static displays worth $250,000 and Airmen dressed in vintage uniforms will also be at the ball.
   "If you don't introduce young Airmen and young officers to these traditions now, they just go away," said Maj. Judy Manno, Air Force Ball Installation POC. "There's so much to it that we want it to be a tradition that continues. We want it to be a part of our Air Force heritage."
   All attending guests will receive a coin, which was made especially for the event and designed by Patrice Zimmerman, of the 727th Aircraft Sustainment Group, Maj. Manno said.
   For more information, call your first sergeant or Master Sgt. Michael Wilsey at 734-5296.