Always Remember - Never Forget
Marissa Gaeta (left) and Citlalic Snell. (Photo: Brian Clark, The Virginian-Pilot.)
In what has become a tradition at Navy homecomings, one sailor is chosen by raffle to be first off the ship to kiss a loved one — on Wednesday, for the first time, the reunited couple was same-sex.
At Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story, Petty Officer 2nd Class Marissa Gaeta, 23, who had been at sea for 80 days on the USS Oak Hill, won the right to be the first person to kiss her partner — 22-year-old Citlalic Snell — on shore in the raffle.
Officials said it marked the first time a same-sex couple has performed the traditional “first kiss” as the ship docked at port.
The couple said the moment had been “a long time coming.”
“It’s nice to be able to be myself,” Galeta told the Virginian-Pilot, about life after the repeal. “It’s been pretty awesome to say the least.”
Snell is a sailor herself, assigned to the destroyer USS Bainbridge.
The U.S. military’s 17-year-old “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy was lifted in September, after years of debate.
I’m a Canadian. Through and through. My boyfriend fought overseas along side American soldiers. Over there, there wasn’t a Canadian/American divide. They were a band of brothers. All of them.
Today, I wear his tags. Not just in honour of him, but all those men and women that he fought with, both living and deceased.
Nothing we ever do can repay what those people have done for us.
Pay your respects. Every day. Not just today. Every day.
Prayer for Fallen Soldiers
Dear Lord Jesus and Mary, Mother of God,
Hold all these brave souls in the palm of your hand,
comfort them and their families.
Send angels of protection, love, and comfort to all
the service men and women still at war,
bring them home safely and comfort their families.
We ask all our prayers in Jesus’ name.
My dad is very active in the lives of veterans with three generations of veterans in his family dating back to World War I. He volunteers most of his free time to the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars clubs in my hometown. More on my dad’s good deeds in a future post, but his respect…
This is how I remember SGT Golding best. Nick always had that same laugh and smile. All the time. Even while living in places how it looks in the above photo for a months time or more. The rain, the cold, the snow, and nowhere to go to get away from it. We both arrived to the unit at the same time. We were both the same rank, and going to the same platoon and same squad. We became best friends. There were many plans made between us about where we were going to fish and hunt together. What bikes we were going to buy. We would both wake up before anyone else and have coffee together. I always had the sugar and he always had the creamer, so we always made coffee together so we could use each others stuff. It was our time to laugh and tell jokes while enjoying our coffee before all our Soldiers woke up. It’s still fresh and very vivid, Afghanistan. Voices, laughs, fear, helicopter crashes, the shock waves smashing into your body from an anti-tank mine. Even when it’s just 200 meters away. I still hear it sometimes. As I’m dozing off to sleep, catches me off guard every time. I think the hardest part was meeting his wife and kid.
So, while some of you are doing your thing today. BBQ’ing, getting drunk, enjoying your day off from work. Remember them. Remember all the Nick’s who gave their all.
I love you Nick. Rest in peace, brother.
Okay, so for Memorial day I’ve decided to upload just a few pictures that I have found around the house of my dad in his time during Vietnam. He just turned 17 when he was drafted in 1964, and was in Vietnam from 1965 - 1966. Even though most of the time we don’t get along, I still respect you so much for what you did, thanks dad. (He is the one on the right in the bottom picture)
Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima taken on February 23, 1945, by Joe Rosenthal. It depicts five United States Marines and a U.S. Navy corpsman raising the flag of the United States during the Battle of Iwo Jima in World War II.
The photograph was extremely popular, being reprinted in thousands of publications. Later, it became the only photograph to win the Pulitzer Prize for Photography in the same year as its publication, and came to be regarded in the United States as one of the most significant and recognizable images of the war, and possibly the most reproduced photograph of all time.