Photo of the Day: Two Women Sharing a Navy Tradition – The First Kiss
A new photo to add to our archive of iconic miliatry images.
-April Daniels Hussar
A Navy ship returned from sea on Wednesday, and as per Navy tradition, two officers were given the honor of sharing a traditional “first kiss” on the ship’s deck. Their names? Petty Officer 2nd Class Marissa Gaeta and Petty Officer 3rd Class Citlalic Snell, two women who met and fell in love while serving their country.
After being at sea for 80 days, Marissa (23) bought 50 one-dollar tickets and won a raffle giving her the honor of being first to smooch her sweetie, Citlalic (22), who was waiting on the dock. Money from the raffle was used to host a Christmas party for the children of sailers.
Both women are Navy fire controlmen, who maintain and operate weapons systems on ships. They met at training school where they were roommates and have been dating for two years, which they said was difficult under “don’t ask, don’t tell.”
“We did have to hide it a lot in the beginning,” Snell said. “A lot of people were not always supportive of it in the beginning, but we can finally be honest about who we are in our relationship, so I’m happy.”
“It’s something new, that’s for sure,” says Gaeta, who has been dating Snell for two years. “It’s nice to be able to be myself. It’s been a long time coming.”
Citlalic Snell, who, according to the AP is based on the USS Bainbridge, the guided missile destroyer that helped rescue cargo captain Richard Phillips from Somali pirates in 2009, said that though this was first same-sex kiss to herald a ship’s return, she’s sure it won’t be the last.