Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The 57th Inaugural Ball!

An inside look at the Commander-in Chief's Ball

I had the privilege and honor to serve as a team captain for the President's Commander-in Chief Ball. My crew was incredible. We sailed through the night without a single mishap! We looked at this honor to serve President Obama as a gift to the First Family and we delivered!

The following is a link to a short music video I put together to share with others what an incredible night it was to be an American! Semper Fi team!!!

Go to video:
Inaugural Ball for President Obama!

Peace, Robert

This letter, my life-partner wrote to the Washington Post about my service at the event, really says it all about why I dedicated so many hours of my time to serve President Obama at his second Inaugural:

I want to tell you about my life-partner.  He recently received exciting news from President Obama’s inaugural committee. Out of “thousands of qualified and enthusiastic applicants,” they wrote in their acceptance email, my partner, Robert Hudson Westover, was selected to serve as a team captain for the Commander-in Chief Ball.

Under any circumstance, to be asked to serve in such an important venue, managing dozens of volunteers, would be an important duty and a solemn honor, but for my husband (we were married in DC on Nov 17, 2010 after living together in a committed relationship for ten years), it was almost surreal.  That’s  because when he served in the United States Marine Corps in the late 1980s, before Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, not only could a Marine be discharged for being Gay, that discharge could be a Dishonorable one.

And, sometimes, those discovered to be Gay were beaten so severely by “fellow” Marines, that a medical discharge was given instead—or worse—some were even killed. It was indeed a dark ages for the Marine Corps.

Robert almost became a victim himself. Fortunately, probably because he was a third generation Marine, a call from his mother to Pentagon investigative services ended what could have been a personal catastrophe for Robert.

But the most amazing part of this story isn’t Robert’s fortitude during his crisis but his ongoing and unflinching dedication to the Marine Corps and the time he served which is still what he terms “The proudest thing I’ve ever done.”

As you can imagine, back in 1987, as he feared for his future, Lance Corporal Westover could not have imagined that 25 years later he would be serving as an openly Gay team captain for the President of the United States’ very own Commander-in Chief Ball. As First Lady Michelle Obama said on the election night in 2008 “This is a great country.” A big OOORAH and Semper Fi to that!

Tom E. Fulton

1 comment:

Edward Garren said...

I finally got around to watching this. It's been a crazy month here in LA la land, but I enjoyed the upbeat music, the photos, the video clips and your always sunny enthusiasm.

We have seen so much change, yet in some ways, things stay the same. But it is great to see you having fun serving our president.

Bear Hugs from South LA, Ed