As the repeal of the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy went into effect, we heard many stories out about how service members are marking the occasion. But one of them has emerged as particularly personal.
A service member, who goes by the alias areyousurprised on Twitter and YouTube and says he's serving in Germany, has been posting videos about being gay in the military for months now. He decided that as the DADT policy lapsed, he would show his face and tell his father he was gay. And he would do it in front of a camera for all of YouTube to see:
The Washington Post reports his name is Randy Phillips and here's how they describe what takes place in the video:
Shortly after midnight Tuesday in his bedroom at Ramstein Air Base in Germany, Randy Phillips set up his web camera, dialed his cellphone and called his father in Alabama.
"Can I tell you something?" Phillips, 21, asked, with the camera rolling. "Will you love me, serious? Like, you've always loved me, as long as I live?"
"Yes," his father said.
His voice dropping, Phillips told him: "Dad, I'm gay."
"Yikes," his father replied.
"I still love you, and I will always love you, and I will always be proud of you," his father said later.
The video is dramatic and nerve-wracking and it's obviously struck a chord: By this afternoon it had garnered about 65,000 views.