A Soldier’s Promise


Photographer: Jessica Prouty

“He was right, this was the life. This was the sacrifice of a US Marine.”

Jessica prouty, Staff Writer

“I will love you until the end of time.”

The words brought forth merciless tears

Accompanied by all the emotion she so effectively hid

Conjured by her greatest impending fears


“I will come home someday very soon.”

Her breathing caught, hitching in her lungs

Halting her pleas for him not to leave

Contorting them to a soft hum


“I will be careful while I am gone.”

Another promise that was hard to take

It warmed her heart that he would try for her

But he’d never know just what she saw at stake


“I will send you a letter every chance I get.”

She felt her heart ignite and go up in flames

She would hold those letters tight at night

But they weren’t him; it wasn’t the same


Letters came and letters went

In the weeks after their final kiss

He wrote of all the things he loved there

But reminded her of how she was missed


Week after week, the script was less

She noticed their arrival swiftly slowed

One would come in the mail now and then

Until finally, something dammed up the flow


She waited for days for some kind of news

Anything to say that he was okay

That he would be coming home to her soon

Because there he no longer wished to stay


She paced the floors anxiously for days

Lied awake at night desperately for weeks

She prayed longingly, breathlessly for months

Her hope, she was hopelessly trying to keep


A lonely letter made its way to her door

Into her frail, anticipating hands

She jumped to view the contents inside

But after reading them she could barely stand


“I carried you with me in my heart

Like I carried my rifle and gear

I protected our families for years to come

And because of that, I cannot be here


I promised you many things before I left

That I would return safe and sound

But I found myself six feet under before death

Buried fearlessly in Afghanistan’s dusty ground


I fought my heart out just for us

I am sad to say I feel that was not enough.

I know the war you wage after reading this

Will be undoubtedly just as tough


But I also know the strength you possess

I know the things that you have seen

I have faith you will make it through just fine, love

After all, you are the wife of a US Marine


I do hope you can forgive me

I gave all I had just for you

I know even after I am beyond this world

Our love will remain true”


She bowed her head and let tears fall

Grieving for all he would never be

But he was right, this was the life

This was the sacrifice of a US Marine