fort wainwright 70th beb kodiak ball

70th beb kodiak ball

It’s been almost a full year since the last military ball Ryan and I attended (the AAAA ball in Seoul), so it was high time the two of us got a night out again! Whilst Ryan was gone during his last TDY, we decided to attend the 70th BEB Kodiak Ball here at Fort Wainwright, and I’m actually really glad we went. For the first time in a minute, we got out together, we got dressed up, and we got to have fun with friends celebrating all sorts of military accomplishments throughout the past year.

70th BEB Kodiak Ball at Fort Wainwright

Remember the UAF hockey game we attended at the Carlson Center this past winter? The 70th BEB Kodiak Ball was held at the same venue – the Carlson Center – right down on the platform where players skate. This time, however, it was transformed into a veritable event center, and it was neat to see the venue in an entirely different light.

For those unfamiliar with all the military acronyms we throw around here a lot, “BEB” stands for “Brigade Engineer Battalion.” No, Ryan’s not an engineer. Ryan works in UAS, but his company is a part of the BEB, and we got to attend and sit with some of the other Arctic Adders to commemorate all the accomplishments throughout the year.

70th beb kodiak ball

70th beb kodiak ball

Getting Fancy in Fairbanks

You guys, we’ve attended military balls before. You go early, you eat, you dance, you play, and then you leave in the dark of night. Well, it’s a little different here in Fairbanks, Alaska. We left the ball at about 9:30 PM, and it was still daylight. Bright daylight, no less. We’ve entered the 70 days of 24 hours of daylight that we’ll have during the summer months her.

Yes, it’s about as wild as it sounds, and yes, it was also really fun(ny) to get dressed up and feel fancy here in Fairbanks. It’s such an unassuming town. We joke a lot that “Fairbanks fancy” is wearing nice jeans and a shirt. So, as you can imagine, soldiers in dress uniforms and ladies in ballgowns is extra fancy for here. It was funny…but also so fun.

70th beb kodiak ball

70th beb kodiak ball

Why We Chose to Attend the Ball

Fun fact; attending military balls isn’t mandatory. We didn’t have to go, and they’re honestly not cheap. The 70th BEB Kodiak Ball was over $70/ticket for Ryan’s rank, but it felt like a fun thing to do. We haven’t done or explored here nearly as much as we’re used to at past duty stations, so this felt like a good excuse to get up and get out together.

I haven’t shared a ton about the challenges we’ve faced here at Fort Wainwright, but part of it has been Ryan’s specific job here being phased out. The drone with which he works is being eliminated and, while not having a replacement for it for the time being, everyone in that capacity has sort of shifted wherever there was a spot or a need for them while here. As you can imagine, that’s been pretty challenging for all parties involved, so we felt that attending the ball would sort of remind him (and us) that we’re still doing something here and that we’re here for a reason.