It all started off with a simple YouTube video.  Four months to the date later, Corporal Kelsey De Santis had her wish granted: Justin Timberlake was her date at the Marine Corps Ball.

The two arrived to a swarm of cameras, but even the overwhelming paparazzi couldn’t ruin the magical night.  In a blog post on his website, Justin wrote about the experience, saying that it was something he would never forget:

”[The] event that turned out to be one of the most moving evenings I’ve ever had…I knew I would have an evening that I wouldn’t forget… Something I could tell my friends about. What I didn’t know was how moved I would be by the whole experience.”

As for his date?  De Santis may have had guts in the video, but in person, she was calm, cool, and even a bit nervous:

“She seemed to me to be so humble and honest… Very cool. She also simultaneously seemed like she was nervous about the whole evening and if I was going to enjoy myself. ‘Are you ok?’ she asked 2 or 3 times. ‘I hope you are having fun,’

“I have to tell you, it’s not every day that I meet a 23 year old girl and she’s more worried about if I’m having fun or if I’m comfortable! It hit me all of a sudden that these were the type of people that look after us and our freedom… Humble, concerned for others before themselves… This was the type of person our Marine Corps was building. I was really blown away.”

What about the other marines he met?

“I laughed and laughed with all of them almost immediately and felt very close to them… They reminded me of my friends (the ones I like, at least). Cool, un-affected, and real.”

Timberlake described the evening in the post, saying that it included a video about Pearl Harbor, World War II and 9/11.  In the end, he realized that even with all he’s been through in his life, this is one experience that left him “truly moved.”

“I’ve met so many of my heroes… From Michael Jordan to Michael Jackson. And, nothing makes me feel more honor and pride than when I get to meet one of you. Last night changed my life and I will never forget it… Thank you Corporal Kelsey DeSantis. Thank you for inviting me. And, thank you for being my hero.”