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By Laura Matthews | February 27, 2012 11:48 AM PST

A homecoming kiss between Sgt. Brandon Morgan and his male partner Dalan Wells has gone viral on the Internet ever since the photo was shared on the Gay Marines Facebook Page on Saturday.

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The photo of the sergeant receiving a welcome home kiss from his partner comes about five months after the military's ban on openly gay service expired. The "don't ask, don't tell" policy that had banned openly gay men and women from serving in the U.S. military ended last September.

The picture has received more than 17,000 likes on Facebook and more than 3,600 comments and shares with lots of kind words for the couple.

"It's wonderful to see two people that love each other seeing each other again after being separated," wrote Facebook user Victor Nascimento. "Thank you for your service and sacrifice to this country you deserve nothing but the utmost respect."

"Welcome home!! I am humbled by your sacrifice for my freedom ... whom you love is your choice and i am happy they were there to welcome you back!!!" Patsy Landry, another Facebook user, posted under the picture.

"Thank you for your service to our country, I hope someday people will look back at this picture and say that you helped pave the way for the rest of us ;-)," wrote Gary Larrison under the photo.

The JoeMyGod gay blog reported that Morgan responded to the Facebook post stating the following:

"To everyone who has responded in a positive way. My partner and I want to say thank you. Dalan, the giant in the photo, can't believe how many shares and likes we have gotten on this. We didn't do this to get famous,or something like that we did this cause after 3 deployments and four years knowing each other, we finally told each other how we felt. As for the haters, let em hate...to quote Kat Williams, everyone needs haters, so let them hate. We are the happiest we have ever been and as for the whole PDA and kissing slash hugging in uniform...it was a homecoming, if the Sergeants Major, Captains, Majors, and Colonels around us didn't care...then why do you care what these random people have to say? In summation thank you for your love and support. I received a lot of friend requests off this. I don't just accept requests so if your request was because of this post message me and let me know. Goodnight all, and Semper Fi. --Brandon Morgan"

According to reports, back in December, two female naval petty officers were the first same-sex couple to share the traditional first kiss. They kissed on the pier when the ship returned from an 80-day deployment.

See that kiss in the video below:

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