For Naval Senior Chief Dwayne Beebe-Franqui and his husband, Jonathan Beebe-Franqui, a routine trip to the commissary has never felt so satisfying as it did Sept. 3.
In a three-minute video released this week by the Department of Defense, the Beebe-Franquis document their new life as a married couple finally recognized by the U.S. military.
"It all changes today, for not just us, but thousands of other families," Dwayne says in the video's opening.
Following the Supreme Court's landmark ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act, servicemembers currently involved in same-sex relationships became eligible to receive various military benefits previously available exclusively to heterosexual couples, including family healthcare plans, military identification cards and survivor benefits. A valid marriage license is needed to obtain these benefits. For couples who are based in a state where same-sex marriage is outlawed, the DoD is granting seven days of leave for travel.
Since the DoD officially expanded these benefits Sep. 3, same-sex military couples across the nation have celebrated, like the Beebe-Franquis, by proudly flashing their military I.D. cards on military bases and installations. In the video, the Beebe-Franquis happily grocery shop in a Naval commissary – for the first time as a true military family.
"Now to be recognized through the federal government, his career, his job, is just amazing, it's a crazy feeling," Jonathan says in the video.