US Navy Ship Homecoming Tradition: First Kiss

In the Navy when a ship deploys, (well I’m not quite sure if all Navy ships participate, but USS Oak Hill definitely does), before returning to their homeport, a raffle is held to determine which lucky Sailor will get the chance to be the first to leave the ship and get the first kiss.

When I read and watched the video, it certainly brought a smile to my face. In my 11 years of serving I’ve secretly known people who were involved in same-sex relationships. I always thought it was unfortunate they couldn’t share their relationship status with others because of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy that’s been around for military service members. Well, I sure wish I could say how I really feel about the situation as a whole, but I’ll hold my tongue on that one. Although I’m holding my tongue I’ll say this, I honestly don’t care what your sexual preference is, all I want to know is this: Do you have my back when it’s time to go to “war”? If so, then who cares who you’re gettin it on with? I sure as hell don’t.
Everyone has different opinions and views about same sex relationships and marriages, and mine has always been, to each their own. From a spiritual standpoint, I’ve always said, I’ll let God deal with that. It’s not for me nor any other person to condemn those who prefer same sex relationships and same sex marriages.
The winner of the USS Oakhill raffle for first off the ship to receive the first kiss, happened to be a female and that alone shows us how much times have changed. The Sailor and her girlfriend were in factthe very first female couple to ever take part in the “First Kiss”. I thought that was cool!
I could only imagine the overwhelming emotion between the two to actually be free and share their relationship with those they sacrifice their lives for while defending their country!

Congratulations to Petty Officer 2nd Class Marissa Gaeta and her girlfriend Petty Officer 3rd Class Citlalic Snell for winning and being able to openly show their love for one another.

Until next time…

Vernishia Renee


December 21, 2011. Deployment, First Kiss, Love, Wednesday.

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