Lieutenant Colonel Tony Mack, Commanding Officer of Marine Air Control Squadron 24 in Virginia Beach, Va., invited the veteran newsman to the November 5 event celebrating the founding of the Corps, telling him in a letter:
"I would be especially honored if you would be our Guest of Honor since you exemplify all that is right with the country that we fight for.
"I spend a lot of time trying to introduce the Marines to great thinkers, writers, and patriots. I borrow many of your words when I’m teaching."
After he was honored at the Ball, Brennan wrote in a news column:
"I found myself surrounded by 400 of the finest men and women on the face of the earth. Resplendent in their dress blues, many back in the U.S. and standing tall after one or two tours of duty in Iraq – assignments they rightly viewed as badges of honor – they reminded me that there are still some extraordinary and dedicated noble warriors in America who typify everything that is, and has always been, great and decent and glorious about the United States.
"Without exception, they see the war in Iraq as fully justified, and they are angered at the mainstream media for emphasizing the bad news in Iraq while ignoring all the good news about the progress of freedom and democracy, to which by their courage and compassion they have contributed so much."