A Marine Offers All Expense Paid Trip to the Marine Corps Ball (video)

By Faye Higbee

It will be the 240th birthday of the United States Marine Corps on November 10, 2015. What to do if your wife can’t go to the Marine Corps ball with you… USMC Combat veteran Shane Kruchten seems to have found a unique answer: invite a Gold Star mom, wife, or daughter to go with him.  And his wife says it’s okay.

Marine Corps Ball

Shane and his lovely wife – photo used by permission

The offer – is it real? YES!

An article at mymmanews.com says,

Marine Corps veteran Shane Kruchten is a combat veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom I & II; he is also a Purple Heart Recipient. His wife recently underwent knee surgery and will be unable to attend the 240th Marine Corps Birthday Ball with Shane. After some careful consideration, Shane has decided to extend an invitation to a Gold Star mother, wife or daughter of a fallen Marine.

“After listening to the Sergeant Major explain that the Marine Corps ball is about honoring the Marines and the rich heritage of the Marines, I thought what better way to do so, than to honor a wife, daughter or mother of a Marine that has made the ultimate sacrifice. All expenses will be covered and I encourage other Marines whom don’t have dates to follow suit.”

A generous offer, but was it real? We reached out to the email listed in the article and YES we found out it is real!

The event

Each unit of the Marine Corps celebrates in a different location, The Wounded Warrior Battalion West will be celebrating the United States Marine Corps 240th birthday on November 20, 2015 at the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego, California.

If you know of a Gold Star Mother, Wife, or  Daughter, have them drop a note to Shane at his email Shane_Kruchten@yahoo.com. Be sure to tell him a little bit about their fallen loved one as well as themselves. Entries must be received by November 5.

USMC Service began at 17 years old- Operation Iraqi Freedom


Shane gets a kiss- photo used by permission

Shane Kruchten was 17 years old when he enlisted in the Marine Corps. He began his USMC service in Operation Iraqi Freedom while Saddam Hussein was still alive. (Hence the message on the back of the lady’s shirt).

The names of 19 of his fallen Marine brothers are tattooed on his back  – his way of honoring them.


According to the article, Shane experienced difficulties with alcohol after his return, and now works to help veterans who are struggling with addictions. He does public speaking, and continues his service to those who keep us free in any way he can.

Currently he is signed to the World Series of Fighting and trains at two different gyms in his area. We wish him victory in his battles, and success with his offer.  Semper Fi, Shane.