A submarine sailor in the US Navy proposed to his boyfriend on returning from a six-month deployment this week.
During the homecoming celebration in Connecticut for the USS New Mexico, Machinist’s Mate Jerrel Revels proposed to his now fiance Dylan Kirchner, reports the Associated Press.
Around 200 people had gathered around the dock of the Naval Submarine Base New London, when Revels proposed. Kirchner said he had considered getting married, but that he had not known about the proposal in advance.
“I didn’t really care everybody was around. It felt just like the two of us,” Kirchner told The Day of New London.
The couple has not as of yet set a date for their wedding.
Between 21 December 1993 and 20 September 2011, lesbian and gay military service members were banned from serving openly under the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy. Service members who violated the policy were discharged.
The repeal of the ban took effect in 2011, and officials from the US Defense Department have estimated that there are 18,000 same-sex couples in active duty in the military, including the National Guard and Reserves.
The USS New Mexico had travelled over 34,000 miles over six months, and had stopped at ports in Norway, Scotland and Spain, according to the AP.