Officer father takes enlisted daughter to Air Force Ball

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii -- The Air Force Ball is an opportunity to celebrate the Air Force Birthday and this year, one father got to introduce the tradition to his newly enlisted daughter.

Maj. Jeffrey Holley, Chief of Strategic Integration for Pacific Air Forces A7K directorate, recently arrived here at his new assignment. He joined his daughter, Airman 1st Class Samantha Holley, a C-17 loadmaster with the 535th Airlift Squadron here.

"I was deployed when I learned of my new assignment, and I was surprised and happy to find out I would be stationed with my daughter," he said. "I found out about the ball, and I knew immediately that I wanted to take her."

Airman Holley said she was initially reluctant to attend the ball before her father invited her.

"After he asked me, I got really excited about going," she said.

The major, who arrived at the base about a month ago, had attended several other events in the past and said he likes the Air Force Ball in particular because of the tradition behind it.

"It's nice to be part of a big event and to reflect on Air Force heritage," he said.

He said the main reason he was excited was to be able to participate in a once-in-a lifetime opportunity with his daughter. It was a risk to buy the tickets without knowing whether Airman Holley would be flying a mission or not on the date of the ball, but he figured he could always donate her ticket to another Airman if it didn't work out.

The timing worked out though, and the two were able to attend.

At the ball, the pair watched performances by Hawaiian dancers, ate dinner, listened to the speeches and posed for a portrait photograph. Afterward, Major Holley had an opportunity to introduce his daughter to several of his co-workers.

Airman Holley also introduced her dad to some of the people she worked with.

The family members said the experience was wonderful and are making plans to attend again next year.

"Going to the ball with her was everything I'd hoped for and more," said Major Holley.