Justin Timberlake says attending the Marine Corps Ball on Saturday night was one of the most "moving evenings" of his life.
The In Time star was invited to attend the celebration in a YouTube video posted by Corporal Kelsey DeSantis and Justin has revealed the event - held at the Greater Richmond Convention Centre in Virginia - was deeply emotional for him.
In a blog post on his website, he wrote: "I knew I would have an evening that I wouldn't forget ... Something I could tell my friends about. What I didn't know was how moved I would be by the whole experience.
"To all of you that serve every day for us ... Ensuring our freedom, I say: My deepest gratitude to you. I've met so many of my heroes ... From Michael Jordan to Michael Jackson. And, nothing makes me feel more honor and pride than when I get to meet one of you.
Last night changed my life and I will never forget it. (sic)"
Justin - who recently reunited with girlfriend Jessica Biel - also reserved special praise for his 23-year-old date, describing her as a "hero".
He said: "She seemed to me to be so humble and honest ... Very cool. She also simultaneously seemed like she was nervous about the whole evening and if I was going to enjoy myself.
"Are you ok?" she asked 2 or 3 times. "I hope you are having fun. I know you will once my crew of friends get here to the table.
"I have to tell you, it's not every day that I meet a 23 year old girl and she's more worried about if I'm having fun or if I'm comfortable! It hit me all of a sudden that these were the type of people that look after us and our freedom ... Humble, concerned for others before themselves ... This was the type of person our Marine Corps was building. I was really blown away.
"Thank you Corporal Kelsey DeSantis. Thank you for inviting me. And, thank you for being my hero. (sic)"
- BANG! Showbiz