The ritual of Marines returning to the U.S. after serving abroad is drenched in tradition, both private and public, and a recent photo of one marine’s homecoming has transformed into an internet hit.
But unlike many photos before, this photo depicts two male Marines embracing. According to gay.net, the photo shows Marine Sgt. Brandon Morgan and his partner, Dalan Wells. The photo was posted on the Gay Marines Facebook group, and has amassed more than 18,000 likes, generated more than 4,000 comments and some 3,000 shares since it was first posted on Saturday.
The photo is a stark demonstration of how Marines can now openly express their sexual orientation after the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell in 2011.
Here’s the photo.