By Elaine Sanchez
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Dec. 21, 2011 – When it comes to a date for next year’s Marine Corps Ball, Lance Cpl. Aaron Leeks is starting early and setting his sights high.
At a Toys for Tots event on Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling here last week, the Marine reservist asked First Lady Michelle Obama to be his date at the ball next November -- with her husband’s permission, of course.
The Marine reportedly made his move while the first lady was helping Marines and Toys for Tots volunteers sort through hundreds of toys donated by the White House staff. The 60-year-old program, run by the Marine Corps Reserve, collects toys to donate to needy children.
After he asked her to accompany him, Obama smiled and responded "I'd love to," according to news reports, and brought over an aide to get his information.
The reservist, who is assigned to the joint base, is slated to deploy to Afghanistan next month, but said he plans to return for the ball.
If her husband approves and she’s able to attend that night, the first lady will be taking a recent Marine Corps celebrity date trend to a whole new level.
Last summer, while deployed in Afghanistan, Marine Corps Sgt. Scott Moore took to YouTube to ask out actress Mila Kunis. She accepted and accompanied Moore to a Marine Corps Ball on Nov. 18 in Greenville, N.C.
Following in Moore’s footsteps, Marine Corps Cpl. Kelsey De Santis extended a YouTube invitation to pop star and actor Justin Timberlake in July. They attended the Basic School Instructor Battalion 236th Marine Corps Birthday Ball in Richmond, Va., on Nov. 12.
In a blog post, Timberlake called it "one of the most moving evenings" he's ever had. "I felt so proud to be there," he wrote. "I felt like I was getting a chance to be among my heroes."