Pre-deployment Ball, Part 2: one hell of a Grog!

I know part one was pretty heavy. That’s the reality of Army life, of Military life really. For others to come home safe and sound to their loved ones, some must step up the bravery, step up the courage, step up the valor. After all, the idea is not to get yourself home from deployment, but to do whatever you need to make sure the guy next to you gets home. He looks out for you, you look out for him. You both see your kids at the end of the nine, twelve, 15- month deployments.

So, the ball. It was surprisingly a lot of fun. Things ran a bit late, but dinner was wonderful. Served buffet style (and with over 500 people, it would have taken forever for everyone to get their food with table service), it literally had something for everyone. Of course, I mainly focused on the cheesecakes, pies and other assorted goodie (and who wouldn’t have?).

I think my favorite part of the night was, hands down, the Grog bowl.

What is a Grog, you ask?

I have NO idea.

It’s a tradition started way back yonder when, for lack of resources, all the guys would dump all their liquor into a single bucket (or whatever happened to be on hand) and then drink it. There is a story now for each of the ingredients added, but the rules still apply. Ours had something from every conflict, war, or major event our Brigade has been involved in. Our group goes back 69 years, so naturally, we’ve been involved, in

We used a slightly “brassier” (that’s brassy-er) version.

some capacity, with every major conflict since the 1940s. As a result, a lot of stuff goes in our Grog. We’ve got vodka for our involvement in Russia. We’ve got “sand” for our involvement in both the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. There was Crown Royal “because you deserve the best” (let me just say, that bottle was fricken huge!!! And they dumped the whole thing!)… A little bit of everything really. I have no idea what was on that towel, the one that was wrung out in the vat while talking about the sweat and dedication of our troops. I have no idea what was with the boot, but it didn’t really effect the taste of the Grog, so why not?

Throw it in the mix.

A little sand in your drink never hurt anybody.

And YES, they really did put the boot in with the liquor. Our Company Commander did that herself and much to the applause of the entire Troop! My guess is that the “blood of the fallen” was really just fruit punch, but there’s no telling what was in the “base”, as that was prepared before hand. And as the backbone of leadership, the rank of First Sergeant was added as the final ingredient. This really is the most messed up thing I have ever seen. It was hilarious watching the different Troop Commanders putting in the various ingredients while giving us all a brief history of the Brigade and what the ingredients are there to represent.

The best part was my husband being asked to “Charge the Keg”. Each table has a pitcher sitting empty on the table. When they call, “Charge the Keg”, each “charger” had to take the pitcher up and fill it with Grog. As you can imagine, after all the excitement of loading the kettle with these random ingredients, nobody “charged” in an orderly fashion LOL It was hilarious to watch these grown men pushing each other for a chance at this concocted liquor drink, but I can tell you, it was worth it.

It was sweet, but not too sweet. Full of every liquor they could get their hands on, and yet, wasn’t overpowering. It had a boot in it for crying out loud, and we all still drank it happily. It was a great time. This was by far, the best time I’ve had at a ball yet. And at this point, we hadn’t even eaten yet.

A toast to the best Grog by the best Squadron in the best Brigade!

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