- Daniel Hall, 30, and Vincent Franchino, 26, were married at the New York school’s Cadet Chapel on January 13
- The captains, who are stationed together in Fort Bliss in Texas, were married in front of 150 family members and friends
- They met in 2009 and their relationship has endured homophobia and overseas deployments, among other challenges
- Their exchange of vows is believed to be the first active-duty, same-sex marriage at the United States Military Academy
Two army captains exchanged vows at West Point in what is believed to be the first active-duty, same-sex marriage at the esteemed United States Military Academy.
Daniel Hall, 30, and Vincent Franchino, 26, are both Apache helicopter pilots and were married at the New York school’s Cadet Chapel on Saturday, January 13, the New York Times reports.
The captains, who are now stationed together at Fort Bliss in Texas, were married in front of 150 family members and friends, 34 of whom were military officers.
The couple sported their blue army uniforms and received a saber-arch salute as they left the chapel. Their reception was held at Skylands Manor in New Jersey.
Franchino and Hall met in August 2009, back when the former was a freshman (or ‘plebe’ in the school’s parlance) and the latter was a senior (or ‘firstie’).
As part of a school tradition in which the plebes seek to hold up departing seniors, Franchino hid under Hall’s bed and popped out to scare him.
‘Dan was so startled, he jumped over his desk,’ Franchino told the New York Times.
Later in 2010, they chose each other for a mentorship program – Franchino as mentee and Hall as mentor. It was at this point that their feelings for each other developed.
But because of the Bill Clinton-effected 1993 policy of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell,’ which barred homosexual servicemen and servicewomen from being ‘out’ in the military, they could not show their feelings.
‘We were serving under a policy that was telling all of us — perfectly capable soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines — to lie about ourselves,’ Hall told the New York Times.
But when ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ was repealed under Barack Obama in 2011, they came out in public with their relationship.
They weathered multiple challenges – being called f****ts while on dates, being deployed to different locations overseas – to get to the point where they could walk down the aisle together.
At one point, when Hall was deployed along with his Boeing AH-64 Apache to South Korea, they called their relationship off temporarily.
But they got back together and may now hope to live happily ever after.
The couple, which will now go by the last name Franchino-Hall, enjoyed their first dance as married men to ‘La Vie En Rose’ by Edith Piaf.