Kim Kardashian ‘Was My Only Choice’ for the Marine Corps Ball, Says Her Date Sgt. Martin Gardner (EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW)

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Sgt. Martin Gardner, the man who was escorted to the Marine Corps Ball by Kim Kardashian, says the reality TV star was his “only choice” when it came to picking a date for the Nov. 15 event in Greenville, North Carolina.

“Kim was my only choice,” Gardner told Celebuzz. “I love her show. She always turns a negative into a positive, and I respect all that she’s done.”

The idea to bring Kardashian to the Ball was first concocted by Gardner, who says he contacted her publicist earlier this year on a whim.

“I needed to somehow prove to myself that anything is possible,” he said.

“I left on deployment in June for a humanitarian mission in Guatemala, and in September I got an email that Kim was going to come,” he added. “I couldn’t believe [she] showed up.”

Kardashian made a splash when she arrived to the 10th annual Ball in a hip-hugging red dress, and earned major point from Gardner for sticking around throughout the night.

“She’s such a cool person,” he said of Kardashian. “And despite what reports said, Kim was there the entire time — through the ceremony, guest speaker and dinner. And any Marine who asked for a photo, she did it.”

At the event, Gardner said the conversation he had with Kardashian was effortless.

“We talked about everything from our personal lives to our professional lives,” he said. “Talking with her was like talking to one of my friends. She was so cool and laid back.”

What did Kardashian reveal to him?

“We talked about her and [boyfriend] Kanye [West]. She really loves that guy,” he said. “She said people think he’s an a-hole, but he’s a really sweet guy. She feels very protected and safe around him.”

“She also really loves her family and [nephew] Mason.”

The TV veteran also had some words of advice her newfound friend, who has plans to move to Los Angeles to pursue a career in entertainment.

“I talked to her about how [I] want to be famous, and she told me there are certain things that are not always cracked up to be — that she can’t go certain places because so many people are following her and she just wants to get in her car and go,” Gardner said.

“But she said to stay determined and to have good people around me and just go for it.”

“And she didn’t say ‘if’ I would become famous, but ‘when’ I become famous. She really cared. She was so genuine, and that’s what surprised me the most.”

Now that it’s all over, Gardner says he remains on top of the Moon.

“The whole night was memorable,” he said. “She asked me questions about myself and we joked about things. I wish more people could see that side of her.

“I grew up poor to a mother who raised three kids. After this, I feel like there’s nothing I can’t do.”

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