None of U.S. Marine Sgt. Dustin L. Williams’ buddies can accuse the scrappy 26-year-old of not having guts.
After all, the Albany resident asked newly divorced Scarlett Johansson – who regularly appears on listings of the most beautiful women in the world – to this November’s Marine Corps Ball.
Johansson declined the YouTube video invitation, which includes Williams performing calisthenics and drinking champagne, but she is sending a case of bubbly to Albany.
“I feel incredibly honored to have been invited to the Marine Corps Ball by Sgt. Dustin L. Williams,” the actress and singer said last week in a statement. “Not only does Sgt. Williams deserve recognition for his bravery, selflessness and dedication to the United States and its people, but he also displays a cheeky talent for filmmaking.”
She added, “Sgt. Williams unfortunately, due to prior commitments, I will not be able to attend the ball with you this year, but I am sending you a case of Moët and Chandon with gratitude. In my absence, I raise a glass to you and all the men and women of the U.S. Marine Corps, past and present, in thanks for your continued commitment to preserving the safety of our nation.”
Williams said it was worth a try.
“With her current career I would imagine Scarlett Johansson is a busy woman … Nothing ventured, nothing gained,” he told the website Zap2It.com.
Williams added, though, that he thinks that Johansson accepting the offer would have boosted the morale of the Marines as a whole.
Country star Luke Bryan of Leesburg also recently declined a YouTube Marine Ball date request — from Lance Cpl. Nicole McCoy of Albany, but he has a first-rate excuse: He’s married.
“We are going to do something nice. I don’t necessarily know if I can go to the ball with her. I think I may be working somewhere,” said Bryan in an interview with Taste of Country. “When I get home, though, I’m going to check it out and see what we can do.”
McCoy is also married; she says she and her family members are big fans of Bryan’s.
The celebrity Marine Ball invitations are part of a new YouTube trend. Sgt. Scott Moore made the first such request to actress Mila Kunis from Afghanistan – and Kunis accepted. So did singer and actor Justin Timberlake, who is ball-bound to Quantico, Va., with a female Marine.
Actress Betty White is among the celebrities to decline Marine Ball requests.