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Military Ball
BOSSIER CITY, La. - Airmen of Barksdale Air Force Base participate in the Parade of Guidons at the Holiday in Dixie Military Ball held at the Horseshoe Casino here on Mar.16. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Brittany Yevette Bateman)
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2008 Holiday in Dixie Military Ball a success

Posted 3/25/2008   Updated 3/25/2008 Email story   Print story


by Staff Sgt. Mike Andriacco
2d Bomb Wing Public Affairs

3/25/2008 - BOSSIER CITY, La. -- The 2008 Holiday in Dixie Military Ball was held at the Horseshoe Casino Riverdome March 15 and had record attendance.

More than 500 community members and guests came together as a prelude to this year's Holiday in Dixie, a ten-day festival in Shreveport starting April 18.

Highlights of the ball included performances by the 531st Air Force Band, the Texas Air National Guard "Band of the Gulf Coast" and The Air Force Strolling Strings, a stringed instrument ensemble that played while walking throughout the audience.

Each guest received a commemorative coin designed by Lt. Col. Richard Rosa and a photo/video slideshow DVD produced by 2d Bomb Wing Public Affairs' Visual Information section.

The military ball was an example of the supportive relationship Barksdale Air Force Base has always enjoyed with the local community, reinforced by the theme, "From cotton fields to airfield."

"In 1924, the citizens of Shreveport became interested in hosting a military flying field and purchased a cotton plantation near Bossier City to offer as a site to the war department," said Lt. Gen. Robert Elder, 8th Air Force Commander.

Today, the base encompasses more than 22,000 acres.

Guests were able to view many traditions, throughout the night whose, origins date back even further in history. The official ball was started with a parade of colors, featuring flags from each branch of the military and the Royal Air Force of the United Kingdom, highlighting the partnership between the United States and the UK.

Following that was the parade of the commanders, when the Barksdale group commanders all the way up to General Elder, entered. The parade culminated with the entrance of Gen. Bruce Carlson, the Commander of Air Force Materiel Command.

The national anthems of both the United States and the United Kingdom were played while the flags of both nations were displayed.

Senior Master Sgt. Rhonda Miller then honored local fallen servicemembers by reading their names and toasting their memory. A table was set at the head of the hall with a hat from each branch of service to represent those who could not join.

The official part of the evening was concluded with a display of unit flags from Barksdale, the Louisiana National Guard, Bravo Company and the 1/23 Marines and a toast to those units as well as their members currently deployed around the world in support of freedom.

After the official ceremony closed, guests were invited to continue the festivities to the music of the 531st Band.

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