About Us

History of the Greater Dallas Military Foundation

Established in 1965 as the Dallas Military Ball by representatives of the Air Force Association, Association of the U S Army, Navy League, Marine Corps Association and other Reserve and National Guard organizations, the foundation's military ball has become a unified military voice for the greater Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex area. The first ball in this present series was held on February 13, 1965, at the Statler Hilton Hotel in downtown Dallas with over 500 attendees with tickets priced at $7.50/person. Dedicated to honoring both Active and Reserve forces, the Patriots' Ball offers a unique opportunity to salute those who are serving, thank those who have served and pay tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

In the Fall of 1964, Dr Walter Hesse who was employed with Chance Vought as an aeronautical engineer working in the R & D area, conceived the idea of having a Dallas Military Ball. He was a graduate of the V-12 program from the U S Naval Academy in 1945. Working on a US Air Force contract for Chance Vought, he organized the Dallas Chapter of the Air Force Association. Dr. Hesse then gathered a representative from the Reserve Officers Association, Association of the U S Army and the Navy League, with all acting as co- chairmen, the four of them organized the first Ball. In 1966 the Dallas Military Ball was incorporated and elected officers and directors and still operates in that same manner. Also, in 1966, the Dallas Military Ball was privileged to have its first Patron, Mr. James Ling of LTV. The selection of a civilian patron has continued each year to the present with patrons representing both civilian and/or defense industries.
Underwritten by Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex citizens and business organizations, the military ball is a formal affair, mess dress for the military and black tie for other guests. Complete with military pageantry, a strong military presence and entertainment, these Balls have afforded the opportunity for the community to meet members of our Armed Forces including the senior leadership. General and Flag officers representing all of our Armed Forces and local Military Commanders are also regular attendees. Invited to be the guest of honor and keynote speaker this year is Admiral John M. Richardson, Chief of Naval Operations. While the primary purpose of the Ball is to promote Patriotism in our community by honoring the military, any net proceeds from the Ball will be distributed to military relief agencies. Since the first Ball, several million have been distributed to these organizations.

Current & Past
Ball Chairpersons
Foundation Presidents

A Legacy of Honor and Support

Past Ball Chairpersons

2017: Mike Carathers CAPT USN, (Ret)
2016: Col. Ric Hamer, USAF (Ret.)
2015: MGySgt. Polly Weidenkopf, USMCR (Ret.)
2014: Col Richard Kaniss, USA (Ret.)
2013: CAPT Mike Carathers, USN (Ret.)
2012: Col Ric Hamer, USAF (Ret.)
2011: LtCol Mitchell Bell, USMC, LtCol. Kevin Mechler, USMC (Ret.)
2011: SgtMaj Danny Wilson, USMC (Ret.)
2010: COL Charlie Walker, USA (Ret.)
2009: CAPT Ken Carodine, USN
2008: Col. Kenneth W. Cordier, USAF (Ret.)
2007: Col. Richard A. Gilson, USMC (Ret.)
2006: COL Paul C. Walker, USA (Ret.)
2005: CAPT Thomas J. Kapurch, USN (Ret.)
2004: Col. Kenneth W. Cordier, USAF (Ret.)
2003: LTC Grady L. Fairbairn, USA (Ret.)
2002: CAPT Thomas J. Kapurch, USN (Ret.)
2001: Lt. Col. William A. Solemene, USAF (Ret.)
2000: COL Richard B. Tanner, USA (Ret.)
1999: CAPT Bill Connell, USN (Ret.)
1998: Maj. Gen. William H. Gossell, USMC (Ret.)
1997: Col. Roger J. Schwarzenbach, USAF (Ret.)
1996: COL William A. Westbrook, USA (Ret.)
1995: CAPT Larry R. Meacham, USN
1994: Col. Roger J. Schwarzenbach, USAF (Ret.)
1993: LTC Grady L. Fairbairn, USA (Ret.)
1992: CAPT Stephen R. Olson, USN
1991: Col. Worth M. Speed, USAF (Ret.)
1990: CAPT Terry R. Hauck, USCG
1989: COL Homer C. Schmidt, USA (Ret.)
1988: CAPT Robert Smith III, USN
1987: Maj. Gen. R.D. Murray, USAF (Ret.)
1986: MG Hugh G. Robinson, USA (Ret.)
1985: CAPT Galen D. Carpenter, USN
1984: Maj. Gen. Danny L. Burkett, USAF (Ret.)
1983: Mr. C. H. McKinley
1982: CAPT Willis H. Castner, USN
1981: Col. Sam J. Romano, USAF (Ret.)
1980: COL T. Talmage Main, Jr., USA (Ret.)
1979: CAPT Thomas W. Campbell, USN
1978: Col. H. Lonnie Land, Jr., USMC
1977: Col. William A. Mather, USAF (Ret.)
1976: MAJ Joe E. Epps, USA
1975: CAPT W. J. H. Vaughn, USN
1974: Lt. Col. Victor R. Kregel, USAF (Ret.)
1973: COL Fred R. Ulrich, USA (Ret.)
1972: Mr. Cecil Mills
1971: Brig. Gen. Herbert G. Bench, USAF (Ret.)
1970: BG John D. Torrey, Jr., USA (Ret.)
1969: CAPT Edwin S. Wright, USN
1968: Mr. Lawrence B. Richardson, Jr.
1967: GEN Paul D. Harkins, USA (Ret.)
1967: LTG T. W. Dunn, USA
1967: Maj. Gen. Harley B. West, TXARNG
1967: The Honorable Ben Wooten
1966: CDR Frank D. Wertz, USN
1966:CAPT James P. Crowder, USN
1965: COL John D. Sefcik, USA and Dr. Walter J. Hesse, LTV

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