For the first time, the military spouse of the year nominee at Naval Base Coronado is gay.
"I was the kid who didn't want to be gay," Brian Alvarado said. "I was scared."
But, there was no denying it.
He met his husband, Matthew Alvarado, online two years ago. Matthew has been an active duty sailor for the past 17 years.
"I'm proud that he put his head down and he did his work," Brian said. "He got his job done and he served his country, and he made it about the Navy and not about himself for 15 years … It is joyful that now he can have both -- with his head up."
Perhaps the scariest moment they shared was the Christmas party for Matthew's unit.
"That moment when you say, 'Hi, this is my boyfriend Brian,' and what is the reaction going to be?" Matthew said.
"I was sweating in my tuxedo," Brian added with a laugh.
He did not let Brian know. In those moments, he was Brian's rock.
"They didn't see us as a gay couple," Matthew said. "They just saw us as a couple with their command, and it was fantastic. The unit as a whole took him in as part of the family."
That empowered Brian. He transformed what was basically a wives club with facials and manicures into a true family readiness group.
Matthew said Brian prepared them for sudden deployment, tsunamis and lockdowns. He raised money for a sailor whose house burned down, helped sailors buy homes through the VA program and helped vets get jobs.
In an interview that's supposed to be about Brian, he was honoring his husband.
"He doesn't like being called a hero, but there's just no denying it." Brian said.
Maybe that is part of why Matthew's captain's wife nominated him.
"It's just an overwhelming feeling of being thankful," Brian added.
On Monday, he will find out on if he moves to the top three for the entire Navy.
You can learn more and vote here: msoy.militaryspouse.com .