Photo Credit: Cpl. Johnny Merkley
This summer, a marine stationed in Afghanistan asked out Mila Kunis via YouTube video. Little did he know that four months later, he would be escorting his dream date to the Marine Corps Ball! On Friday night, the 28-year-old Friends with Benefits actress made good on her promise to accompany Sgt. Scott Moore, also 28, to the military gala in Greenville, N.C. Meanwhile, on the West Coast, reality star Kristin Cavallari was on the arm of her own marine escort at the San Diego ball.
Kunis, who cleared her Oz: The Great and Powerful filming schedule for this occasion, went straight from the airport to the convention center to meet her date. Dressed elegantly in a black gown with her hair in a chignon, Kunis must have been a welcome site for Moore, who recently returned from seven months of fighting the Musa Qala and Now Zad districts in Afghanistan. Photographs from the event show Kunis standing to salute the flag, and talking animatedly at a dinner table while her heroic date beams beside her.
According to People, Kunis was especially taken with the Marines' traditions, which include a birthday cake ceremony where the oldest and youngest Marines slice and eat the first pieces of cake. "She seemed to like the tradition," said one Marine. "They made her smile."
Moore's video invitation to Kunis, which she learned about at a press conference one month later, inspired a trend of other Marines asking their favorite celebrities to the ball.
Another who said "yes" was Cavallari, who stunned Lance Cpl. Jonathan Burkett by accepting his Twitter invitation within the hour. The Dancing with the Stars contestant, 24, wowed the guests at the San Diego Marine Corps Ball in a light blue strapless floor-length gown. Burkett told E! that he was "very, very nervous" about the big night, but once he and the Cavallari started actually talking, they "had a blast."
Though he told the press that he wouldn't "kiss and tell," he was clearly a gentleman -- even tweeting his appreciation to Cavallari's boyfriend, Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler.
"Hey man glad she was able to come! You have an awesome gf and hopefully wife!" wrote the solider. "Keep playing well hopefully Steelers vs Bears!"
Last week, Justin Timberlake escorted Marine combat instructor Kelsey DeSantis to the Marine Corps Ball in Richmond, Va. He wrote afterwards on his blog that he was "really blown away" by the people he met, including his date.
"What I didn't know was how moved I would be by the whole experience," said the 30-year-old singer-actor.
Most celebrities turned down their online Marine invites, although the most courteous of them, including Betty White and Scarlett Johansson, sent personal responses. Now that Kunis, Timberlake and Cavallari have all had a ball, we hope the hard-working Marines of YouTube will have a better success rate next year!