It’s a rite of passage for soldiers returning home after a tour of duty: publicly embracing their loved ones. One soldier’s kiss in particular, however, is receiving a bit more attention than most others.
Sgt. Brandon Morgan returned home to Hawaii last week — roughly 5 months after the U.S. military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy expired last September — following a tour in Afghanistan, and greeted his partner of four years, Dalan Wells, by jumping into his arms and kissing him joyfully, according to the International Business Times.
The photo of the same-sex couple was posted on the Gay Marines Facebook page on Saturday, and has since been shared more than 6,000 times, and has over 36,000 “likes.” Nearly 9,000 people have also commented on the photo. Sadly, but not surprisingly, not all of the comments have been positive.
One person wrote: This is freakin gross!
Anther wrote: Its not in our hands to judge BUT it does mention in the bible that a “marriage” is to be kept between a man and a woman. Why do you think God made it possible for a woman to have children with a man. He may have done good by fighting for his country but it makes me sick to see this, especially in front of the american flag and even more SICK to put the marine symbol over a rainbow flag. This does not go on while in service because unmentionable things would happen to him so he must be getting out. Not to mention the DI would not put up with it nor the other troops. My God have mercy on his soul.
Fortunately not everyone agrees with the haters and bigots, like the person who wrote: To all of you homophobes, It’s a shame that you can’t accept people who’s sexuality may differ from yours. I say anyone who has served our country honorably deserves our respect. And the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy is no longer in effect. It’s about time.
And one more person summed up the feelings of thousands of other commenters: Love is love… it’s that simple.
A gay blog, Joe.My.God., posted a statement from Morgan in reference to the photo:
“To everyone who has responded in a positive way. My partner and I want to say thank you. Dalan, the giant in the photo, can’t believe how many shares and likes we have gotten on this. We didn’t do this to get famous,or something like that we did this cause after 3 deployments and four years knowing each other, we finally told each other how we felt. As for the haters, let em hate…to quote Kat Williams, everyone needs haters, so let them hate. We are the happiest we have ever been and as for the whole PDA and kissing slash hugging in uniform…it was a homecoming, if the Sergeants Major, Captains, Majors, and Colonels around us didn’t care…then why do you care what these random people have to say? In summation thank you for your love and support. I received a lot of friend requests off this. I don’t just accept requests so if your request was because of this post message me and let me know. Goodnight all, and Semper Fi. –Brandon Morgan”
Morgan and Wells aren’t the first openly gay military couple to share a public kiss. Petty Office 2nd Class Marissa Gaeta and Petty Office 3rd Class Citalic Snell, a lesbian couple, were seen kissing on a pier at Virginia Beach after an 80-day deployment to the Caribbean in December.
How much does the photo move you? It’s so sweet and touching, right?
Image: Gay Marines Facebook page