Madera Marine Dances with the First Lady

January 21, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
A Marine from Madera played a special role during one of Tuesday night's inaugural balls.Sgt. Elidio Guillen had the honor of dancing with First Lady Michelle Obama during the Commander Chief Ball. His family members were overcome with pride when he took center stage and they tell us it was an emotional moment for Mrs. Obama as well.

The family of Sgt. Elidio Guillen called him Wednesday morning to congratulate the 27-year old on his moment in the spotlight with First Lady Michelle Obama. But his phone's not the only one that's been ringing off the hook.

"Everybody called, his brothers, his friends, everybody saw him, and I'm very proud that he was there," said Elidio's mother Maria Guillen.

The Madera High graduate is stationed in Washington D.C. and was chosen for the honor in a lottery after being nominated by his command. But Guillen's brothers said they didn't believe the baby of the family would really be dancing at the inaugural ball with the Obama's until they saw it for themselves.

"We told him, you know what, I said, nah, he's lying. I told my parents we want pictures, tell him we want pictures," said his brother Victor Guillen.

Now those pictures are making national news and inspiring local pride.

"My oldest son took his picture of his uncle with President Obama, and he's running around the class and telling all his teachers and the principal, he's just super excited, we're all super excited, from the smallest to the biggest. We're all excited," said Elidio's sister Griselda Deleon.

The Guillen family said it was not only a moving moment for them, but also Mrs. Obama. "He said that she was crying because she told him he went to serve in Iraq."

When the song came to an end, the family says the first lady thanked Sgt. Guillen for his service, and he thanked her for the dance.

The family said Sgt. Guillen didn't even notice that the first lady is a little taller than him because he was more worried about the millions of people watching his moves. But luckily his wife practiced with him the night before.

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