UPDATE: Video and quotation have been added.

We have a late-breaking nomination for image of the year. This photograph would have been unimaginable just a few years ago. With the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, Petty Officer 2nd Class Marissa Gaeta was able to win a raffle that gave her the first off-the-ship kiss, a Navy tradition, with her girlfriend of two years, Petty Officer 3rd Class Citlalic Snell.

Associated Press (Brian J. Clark)

“It’s nice to be able to be myself. It’s been a long time coming,” said Gaeta about life after the repeal. “It’s been pretty awesome to say the least.”

Watch video of their reunion after the jump.

Further reading:

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” ends in quiet, personal ways

2 women share 1st kiss