- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 14, 2013

A Texas sailor sent on a 6-month submarine deployment through 34,000 miles of European waters said he got through the lonely days at sea by planning a surprise wedding proposal and picturing the happy reaction of his soon-to-be spouse — his long-time Connecticut boyfriend.

“I’ve been away from this dude for about six months now and there’s just a point where I realized I didn’t want to be away from him anymore or let him get away,” said MM2 second class Jerrel Revels, about his boyfriend, Dylan Kirchner, in NBC Connecticut reported.

So as soon as the submarine Mr. Revels was aboard, the USS New Mexico, hit the dock in Groton, Connecticut, he dropped to bended knee and proposed. An estimated 200 friends and family members stood by and watched, The Daily Mail reported.

Mr. Kirchner, for his part, said he had a feeling the two would marry; they’d been dating a year. But he was surprised by the public proposal.

“It kind of tickled my mind every now and then that [he would propose], but I never expected this,” Mr. Kirchner told Connecticut’s The Day. “I didn’t really care everybody was around. It felt just like the two of us.”

Mr. Kirchner said yes, and then took to Facebook to announce the planned nuptials. Social media commenters, meanwhile, sent mixed reactions.

“Yuck,” one said, of the photographed proposal at The Daily Mail’s website.

Another: “And this is normal/acceptable?”

A third: “Just hope his next cruise is not in Russia.”

And yet one more: “The narrow-minded responses, especially from the USA, are unbelievable. Really unbelievable.”

“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policies that banned military members from outwardly expressing their homosexuality were overturned in 2011.

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