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Reserve dad takes daughter to prom
Senior Master Sgt. Ernest Mayshack, 919th Civil Engineering Squadron, was asked by his daughter to be her prom date for May 5, which is also her 18th birthday. Sergeant Mayshack will be deploying to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and will miss her high school graduation (Courtesy photo/Mary Mayshack)
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Reserve dad takes daughter to prom

Posted 5/17/2007   Updated 5/17/2007 Email story   Print story


by Jasmine DeNamur
919th SOW Public Affairs

5/17/2007 - DUKE FIELD, Fla. -- There are a few occasions in a teenager' s life that stand out and define the high school experience. For one reservist and his daughter, an evening of glitz and glamour turned out to be a "ball" of a time for both.

Senior Master Sgt. Ernest Mayshack was stunned when his daughter, Marrielle, asked him to be her date to the senior prom.

"Most people don't even think about bringing their fathers as dates to prom," he said. "It made me feel honored for her to even ask me to be her date."

The 919th Civil Engineering Squadron electrical superintendent is preparing to deploy to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and will consequently miss Marrielle's high school graduation and her move to Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University.
"I was thinking about a date I could have fun with. He's going to miss a milestone in my life, so I thought, why not invite him to my prom?" she said in a televised interview.

May 5 was not only the day of prom, but it was also her 18th birthday.

"Out of my 23 years of military service, to include 18 as a reservist, I've only been there for two of her birthdays," said Sergeant Mayshack.

A lot of it has to do with the unit training assembly almost always falling on the weekend of her birthday, he said.

For this particular weekend, he dressed in his dress blues, but not for the usual award ceremony or retirement - it was his "tuxedo" for the prom. His attire matched with his daughter's metallic blue evening gown.

"Marrielle and I decided to stay in and have dinner at the house, and then we began to get ready for the big evening," he said. "What we didn't know was that my wife called a local news station to cover what we were doing, and the story exploded from there."

Local and major news networks, including CNN, FOX News, and In Touch magazine, have reported on the two's experience, though it was not news to the staff at Marrielle's high school.

The school has a policy that no one 21 and older is allowed to be brought as a date to the prom. When Marrielle told the staff she was bringing her father, they made an exception, said Sergeant Mayshack.

"None of the kids there thought it was a big deal. They knew who I was, because I frequently volunteer at the school," he said.

The "icing on the cake," as he called it, was when two of Marrielle's friends sang a song dedicated to him and his daughter.

"I had a much better time at this prom than at my own high school prom," he said. "What made it stand out so much was that it was with someone I love so much."

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