By Sunnivie Brydum
Originally published on Advocate.com December 29 2012 3:05 PM ET
On February 22, Marine Sergeant Brandon Morgan was returning from a six-month deployment to Afghanistan by way of a military base in Hawaii. Morgan's boyfriend, Dalan Wells, was at the base to greet his partner as he returned home, along with the spouses and girlfriends receiving their returning soldiers. When Morgan saw Wells, he was so moved that he leapt into his boyfriend's arms, where the two shared a passionate kiss, caught on camera by bystanders. The photo quickly went viral, a visceral, visual reminder of the progress made by repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."
Just in time for the new year, YouTube filmmakers Gay Family Values sat down with Sgt. Morgan, 25, and Wells, 38 to get the full story on the moment that became an iconic symbol of the march toward equality in our nation's military.
"There was a little bit of hesitation on Dalan's part to even be there," explains Sgt. Morgan. "Because, yes, the repeal had happened, DADT was dead, but for the most part there were military spouses or girlfriends there, all dressed up to receive their men, husbands dressed up to receive their wives back from deployment, but we were the only same-sex couple."
"Well, I'm very shy," said Wells. "Then I started realizing, oh, he can go off to Afghanistan for six months to go to war, and I'm afraid to even show up at a hangar to greet him when he gets off the bus? So then I felt bad and was like, fine, I can do it."
Watch the full interview below.