You are really excited when your dad tells you that you guys are going to go on a trip for the 4th of july, especially since u couldnt manage to make it to my graduation ceremony, so you start packing for your weekend in Martha's Vineyard and get to the airport when you start to notice your dad only has one ticket, you ask him why and he admits that you arent really going to Martha's Vineyard, you are going to Parris Island.
You are stunned as your dad explains that instead of doing something for the 4th of july he bought you a ticket to go to my graduation ceremony with some help from me. you get on the plane and can barely hold in your excitement for the length of the flight, you get there and are greeted by my parents who arrived earlier in the day to spend family day with me. the next day you go to my graduation with my parents and right away i see you, and stand a little taller in my blues hoping to make you proud.
After the ceremony ends you stay back shyly as my parents hug me, tears in their eyes and mine as well after finally receiving the eagle globe and anchor that has been my goal the last year. after i hug my parents and my aunt and uncle you still are staying back, too shy to come forward, not knowing how to act, so instead of waiting on you i run to you, and pick u up off the ground, spinning you as i hug you and hold you above my head in my arms by your waist.i set you down and you just wrap your arms around my neck and tell me how proud you are.
The rest of the day we dont get very much alone time, a stolen kiss, or holding hands under the table when we think no1 is looking but thats all we risk. i have to stay on base and you go back to the hotel with my parents aunt and uncle. the next day my parents leave early in the morning but let me catch a flight during the early afternoon to make it back for a 4th of july party/welcome home party, i spend the rest of the day with you and take it in as much as i can, simply holding your hand, hugging u and kissing you, never wanting it to end.
But once our flights come we separate and go our opposite ways, not knowing when we will next see each other, and you cry as you hold me in my blues and kiss me goodbye. i tell you not to worry, i made it through hell and i know i can make us work, because im completely in love with you, it helps some but you are still worried. you fly home and months go by without you seeing me, we talk regularly while im at MCT and MOS school.
You become very sad thinking that you wont see me again for a full year seeing how it has already been 7 months.you are seriously struggling with not seeing me and starting to think its not going to work at all as you return to your dorm room. little did you know that i had contacted your roommate without you knowing about it and planned a weekend where she would pick me up from the airport, and sneak me into your room while you were at class. And as you opened the door to your roo the first thing you saw was me standing at attention, in my dress uniform, holding a bouquet of roses.
This time you had no reservations and just jumped on me with wild screams and tears flowing down your face. i almost fall over from the force of you hitting me, take a step back and then just hold you, tears down my face, relishing your hair in my face the smell of you, the warmth of your body against mine, and the ease of my mind knowing im with you again. i explain how i got there once you let go of me, and how ive already made dinner reservations at the nicest restaurant in town.we go out to dinner and just talk non stop, never letting go of one another, and we even get a free dessert because im in uniform.
When we get back we find that your roommate has left us a note saying that she went to stay at her friends apartment, and that she wouldnt be back until late the next day, and left us a bottle of champagne. we sit and have some champagne, talk and just hold each other while watcing a romantic movie on your bed.as the champagne runs out we slowly begin to kiss more and more, and then kissing becomes making out, and soon enough the movie is just background noise as we make out and strip each others clothes, letting our desires that have been witheld for so long take over and have extremely intimate sex, and after we are done we just lay in your bed naked, holding each other.you are laying your head on my chest when i put my hand on your head and tell you that i love you more than anything in the world, and that i will always come back to you, no matter how long it takes.
We continue to talk and cuddle and eventually just fall asleep in each others arms naked on your bed. you wake up the next morning and freak out when you realize im not there. you go shower, upset thinking i had left without telling you.as you come back from the shower though you are greeted by me holding breakfast, and looking slightly sweaty, for i went for a run in the morning and then got breakfast. we eat breakfast together and then you look at me and how sweaty i am and tell me we have to get me a shower, but you live in an all female dorm hall, so you strip back down and put a towel on, with many comments from me, and do the same to me, and sneak me into the shower with you.where we wash each other taking more time then is neccesary, making out alot, feeling up but we dont risk sex.
I have to wear my cammies the rest of the day, and you go around introducing me to all of your friends as your boyfriend and just hanging out happy to be together, until i have to go, because i am surprising my parents as well. you take me to the airport, and we have a much better goodbye, as i kiss you, hold you close and tell you i love you, and to remember that i will always come back for you.
As time goes on we continue to see each other as often as we can, and you never forget what i told you the first time i came to see you, "I will always come back for you" but there is no time that we see each other that has been as memorable as that first time. and you are just waiting for the day that i find some way to top it, as you know i will.
It finally comes as you go home to visit your dad over the summer. A couple weeks go by and everything is normal, we talk regularly, you work, and you think nothing of it. Then one day i tell you that I am getting relocated and refuse to tell you where to, claiming it's "classified" when you know its really not. you get really annoyed with me and i promise that you will find out where it is the day that i get there, but that i will not just tell you.
A couple days go by with limited contact with me because i am flying, to get to the place that i am going to be stationed. Finally one day you think I am where I'm going to be stationed because we have been in contact the whole day and its already the afternoon. So you ask where I am and get mad when i refuse to tell you, that you will figure it out soon enough, you get even more mad when i won't tell you how you will find out.
It doesn't take long for you to find out for when you get back to your house from work that day you see your dad standing there waiting for you at the door, with a huge grin on his face. As you walk towards him he pulls something out from behind his back and says, "you should probably go start packing your bags" as he hands you the airplane ticket. You finally understand how you are going to find out where i'm being stationed, and quickly open the ticket to see where you are going.
You squeal excitedly and run upstairs and start packing your bags. Grabbing everything that you can possibly think of that will fit. you barely sleep the next couple of nights, waiting for the flight to take you to see me. Finally the day comes and you get on the plane. Taking the long flight to come see me. Barely being able to contain your excitement.
Finally you land and see me waiting to pick u up and sprint towards me, jumping into my awaiting arms, and taking no time waiting to see if its ok or not and just grab my face and make out with me full blown right in the middle of the airport. as we finish our embrace i hold you at arms length with a huge grin on my face, and say "Welcome to Hawaii beautiful. I missed you so much"
You spend a long time with me, we go to the beach, and try to learn how to surf, I don't do too bad at it but you need a little bit of help getting the hang of it. We go out drinking and have lots of fun as you meet all my friends in the corps, and i introduce you to all of them as my girlfriend and all of them are extremely jealous.
The whole time you are with me we are always touching in some way, whether it is holding hands, me having my arm around your waist or shoulders, my hand in your butt pocket of your shorts, yours in mine, you simply hugging me with one arm around you as we stand somewhere, we cuddle everynight out by a bonfire, making out as we listen to the waves and watch the sunset. we share my bed, frequently having intimate sex but not everynight, some nights we simply lay there cuddling under the sheets, happy to be holding each other again.
One day I take you out shopping and start making you look at nice dresses and shoes and make you try them on, until you find an extremely elegant dress that you look gorgeous in. We find some stunning heals to go along with it and i buy them for you. You ask why i bought you them and i tell you i noticed you hadn't brought anything nice to go out in, and then tell you to go back to my room change and go enjoy the beach for a little bit, i'd be right there but had to do something first.
A few hours later i meet you down by the beach in my swimsuit, you are still stunned everytime you see me shirtless and silently thank the Marine Corps. I see you sat up a little bit and quickly run towards you and swoop down and pick u up in one swift moment, sit down on a chair and hold you on my lap so you are cradled in my arms against my chest, you smile up at me loving it when i hold you like that. I look down at you and simply smile and say "So how about we put that dress to use tonight?" when you agree i say "Good because I've had this reservation since you said that you were going to be able to come."
You try to find out what i was doing the whole time i sent you back to the beach but i refuse to tell you, telling you that you will figure it out later. We get dressed, you in your new dress, me in my dress blues, so you know right away that we are going somewhere special since this is the first time you have seen me in uniform the whole week that you have been there. We get to the restaurant and you soon realize that it is a 5 star restaurant, the nicest one around.
We have an extremely extravagant dinner and i tell you to order anything that you want. Its by far the best dinner that you have ever had and we never stop touching the whole time except to eat. You keep asking where i disappeared to and i tell you not yet. After dessert they bring over some "complimentary" champagne, and I toast to us and that we may last forever, and as you drink your glass something touches your lips, and you look down and notice that there is a ring in it. you pull it out and just stare in disbelief.
Quickly I explain it is not a proposal ring, since it is a white gold diamond ring,that it is a promise ring, that i am promising that i will always be yours and always be faithful to you, but that most importantly that i will always follow the words i told you when we separated the first time i visited you, "I will always come back for you" and you noticed that engraved on the inner part of the band is with the saying.
You quickly put on the ring and kiss me. we go back to my room and have the most intimate night together we have ever had. the next morning i take you to the airport and we embrace, i hold your hand and put a little pressure on the ring as we say our final goodbyes, and say remember i promise I will always come back for you.
When you get back home your dad comments on the ring and you explain you bought it even though you didn't, and he jokingly says that if i keep flying to see you and paying to have you come see me that hes going to think that something is going on between us. you quickly text me and say what he said, and to your surprise all i say back to you is "Tell him"
We go on dating for a while, struggling with deployed life, and going against our families not completely accepting us dating. Together though we work through it, never faltering in our love. as time goes on you get an apartment and keep going to school. The time that you dread draws nearer and nearer, as Im about to get deployed again, this time it's to a very nice base just outside of a large combat zone. You are very worried but i remind you that I will always come back for you.
I get deployed, and it's not a good place to be, I'm frequently used as a combat engineer to blow in walls on buildings and urban combat, I even see a lot of combat, always coming out just a little bruised, never seriously injured even when i run back in to help my brothers. I of course tell you none of this when we talk since i am in a nice base with email and occasionally a phone call.
The fighting continues over my 7 months of deployment and I always think of you when I'm in battle, what I'm fighting for, what I'm fighting to go back to, what i can't let down. Finally we get word that we are going to be returning home and I'm so happy to finally see you. I email you right away and let you know the good news.You can barely wait to see me.
Our excitement is short lived though as 10 days before I'm scheduled to go home our base is attacked directly, and we go into a lock-down. I email you right away and let you know the bad news. You are completely destroyed, not knowing when you will see me and worried that I'm not safe because you don't know that i have been in alot of combat. The next week drags on for you, and you aren't even excited for your 21st birthday anymore, even though i wouldn't have been there for it.
You go to bed the night before your birthday with crushed dreams, and mad at the world since our contact has been limited the last few days because of the lock down. You fall asleep wishing that the lock down never happened and that I would really be home in 3 days.
The next morning you wake up in a bad mood, then you suddenly get extremely confused, because you can feel an arm wrapped around you, you quickly roll over and open your eyes, and get greeted by a "Happy Birthday beautiful, I told you I would always come back for you." You burst into tears, bury your head in my chest, and hug me so hard you almost push us completely off the bed. I simply wrap my arms around you and stroke your hair, tears going down my face as well.
Eventually you stop crying or kissing me, and take your face out of my chest and manage to ask how i got home sooner when we were in lockdown. I explain that we went into lockdown and right away they sent over transport to take us to another base that had men going home from deployment 3 days early and that i paid extra to get moved to an earlier flight from one of my connecting flights so that i could get in last night, then once you had gone to bed i snuck in and laid down with you.
You can't believe that I'm really here for your birthday and refuse to let go of me so i carry you into the kitchen and set you down on the table, and start to make you breakfast, you immediately jump off the table and come up behind me, wrap your arms around my waist and lay your head on my back. Simply relishing that you can touch me again never wanting it to stop. This is when you notice that i have a bandage on the inner part of my right forearm, that has a little bit of blood on it.
You freak out and ask what that is from, and i tell you there was a small combat scenario I was in and my arm got cut a little bit by a guy with a knife. You start to ask what happened but stop yourself, you don't want to know and you get the feeling i don't like the topic very much and I clearly am trying to change the subject. I finish making you breakfast, eat quickly, and go to the bathroom, coming out you notice i changed the dressing on my arm. You decide to just try and forget about it entirely.
We shower together, and there's not a moment when we aren't touching, we dry each other off and I help you get pick out your outfit and get dressed, you tell me you want me to wear my cammies so i do for you. We go out shopping for the whole day and I buy you all sorts of clothing and jewelry and even a purse that you like since I didn't have time since i got back to buy you a present for your birthday, hoping that being there in the morning would count.
We go back to your apartment, and you put on the dress I bought you in Hawaii and the heels too, I change out of my cammies and put on my dress blues. We go out to dinner at your favorite restaurant to celebrate your birthday and i insist that we get a really nice bottle of wine for you, and some aged Jameson for me, after our toast of champagne of course. You remembering the last time we had champagne, looking down at your finger with the diamond ring on it and the engraving "I will always come back for you."
After dinner we go out drinking, you get really drunk and think I am too but you don't realize that i switched to soda every other drink so that I'm sober enough to take care of you but still having fun with you. We get back after a long night of partying and I have to carry you to bed because you fell asleep in the car. I put you in your pajamas, putting one of my marine corps shirts on you and your panties, I strip down to my boxers and fall asleep holding you in my arms.
The next morning you wake up and I'm already up just holding you, watching you sleep, your still in disbelief that I'm here before i was supposed to be. That's when you notice that my bandage is pretty bloody, I do too and say "Fuck I forgot to change this last night, I'll be right back." but as I go to get up to go change my dressing you grab my bicep, and say "I don't like it, but I want to know what happened you don't have to face this alone. Tell me EVERYTHING"
Slowly I start to cry, knowing you really mean it, and before i take off the dressing I tell you all my stories about the things I've done, and the things I've seen, just enough to take the edge off of me and to relieve some of the pain, but not in extreme detail. I tell you how I saw my friend get shot in front of me, and how I had to kill a man with just my hands, and other terrible things that happened, you notice never once did I explain the bandage.
Then with a tear-stained face i looked at you and said "I didn't want to do any of those things, but I had to. Because I made a promise, I promised you that I will always come back for you, and that's all that got me through it." and as I said it, I removed the dressings on my forearm. You look down and just gasp and mutter Oh My God. Where you expected to see a gnarly gash in my forearm was instead a tattoo. It said seven simple words in an elegant script. "I will always come back for you." For the second morning in a row you burst into tears and bury your face in my chest and kiss me and hold me.
I go put some ointment on the tattoo to stop it from drying out and you just stare at it, realizing that I had permanently marked myself and that it was for you. Finally I can't take it anymore and have to ask if you like it, and all you can manage to say is "I love it." We spend the whole morning at your apartment nursing your hangover, you sitting around in my Marine Corps t-shirt me in just my boxers. finally after lunch we shower together again, never having a moment where we weren't touching, and you take extra time when wiping down my arm, staring at the tattoo.
The rest of the day you make me wear a short sleeved t-shirt so that you can look at the tattoo, and you develop the habit of running your finger along the script following the arching movements of the letters that are still slightly raised on my skin since its a fresh tattoo, or simply rubbing your hand up and down feeling the raised skin forming the words that you repeated to yourself everyday to help you believe i was coming back. We go to bed the same way as the night before, you in my t-shirt and me in just boxers, although neither one of our clothes stay on very long.
The next morning you wake up with me still naked beside you, your head cradled between my arm and my chest. So happy to be with me again, touching me, feeling the warmth of my body against yours and the steady beat of my heart in your ear. Right away you reach over and trace the words on my arm with your finger and look at me saying, "What no surprise this morning?" I simply looking at you, smile and say, "Well I was going to wait until we got dressed at least, but I don't want to ruin my streak." Shocked you have no idea what else could be coming at this point.
I look at you and slowly begin to explain, "I'm getting relocated to somewhere a little more established then the other bases I was at. This time they have extra housing that isn't being used even. I applied to get a house this time and I found out yesterday I got it along with my promotion." You begin to congratulate me and say how proud of me you are when I stop you. "I wasn't done" I say, "Not only did I get the house and the promotion, I want you to move in with me."
Finally our parents start to accept that they wont be changing how we feel about each other as we continue to live together for a while. And slowly it becomes like we are dating as a normal couple, my parents go out and do things with us as well as yours without having any comments or issues with us dating. Finally it's like we are in a normal couple.
That is of course until I get notice I'm being deployed again overseas. Right into the heart of the war. You become extremely nervous knowing that I'm not going to be building houses this time, but that instead I'm going to be breaching them through walls with C4.
We spend our last weeks together, the night before I get deployed we go out to dinner with both of our parents, who finally come straight out and say that they are happy we are together. Which is an extremely moving moment for both of us, having to go against them being so hard for us.
We finish our nice dinner together and go home, sharing our last night together more passionately than the first night we spent together in Ohio, and wanting it to end even less then we had that night. I hold you in my arms the same way i did that night while we sit in a chair, your head against my chest, and you trace my tattoo.
I notice that you are crying and ask you what's wrong, you look up at me and simply say. "This is the first time I don't know if I believe this tattoo." I look at you and tell you the number of times I honestly have been in combat. Shocking you, telling you the real number of men I have killed.
"I have been in combat zones for almost all of my deployments, I simply didn't want you to worry. I will always come back for you, no matter the odds." You are still shocked and just look up at me with a new-found faith that I will really return to you no matter what happens.
The next morning I leave for my deployment, you simply grip the necklace I had bought you for the last Christmas. A heart pendant, with the Eagle Globe and Anchor, with our saying engraved into the back, with the same hand that has your ring on it, until it hurts. I get on the plane, and begin to trace the tattoo while I stare at the picture of you I always carry. A single tear dropping from my eye.
I can barely get any mail while I'm deployed, and I get injured a few times, not seriously but enough to have to be out of the field a few times. Me of course never telling you that I'm injured since it is always just minor shrapnel damage or a cut on my arm, and once a bullet skims my arm. No injury is serious enough to get me sent home though.
Meanwhile at home you are struggling, always just repeating those seven words hundreds of times throughout the day. One day you get terrible news, you hear on the news that the base I was stationed at was under heavy attack, and you again start to fear that I won't come back. The only thing that keeps you going is the necklace and ring. You sleep in one of my shirts everynight, spraying it with my cologne before you put it on each night.
I am busy fighting the whole time, getting no down time to write you, and getting none of your letters. I pray everynight that I will keep my promise, and the battle really starts to affect my mind as it becomes more and more gruesome. One night I get a break and look at the picture of you. My mind becomes clear and I don't doubt anymore, I stop praying and the battles effect me less knowing why I'm fighting. I then make myself another promise of what I will do when the fighting is over.
Weeks go by after you hear that my base was being attacked. Its getting close to the end of my deployment and you still haven't heard from me about when I'm coming home, you haven't heard from me at all since the attacks started. You are extremely worried about me but know I am still alive because no men in dress blues have shown up at your door.
The next day you receive a letter, you hope its from me but as you open it your dreams aren't realized, it is instead a letter for you including 3 tickets to a concert. In the letter it explains how the tickets are complimentary front row tickets for you and my parents for a concert honoring the troops, that transportation will be provided for you and that a limo will be at your house this weekend to pick you up and to dress nice.
The next weekend comes without you hearing from me, and you put on the dress from Hawaii, the heels, and a marine corps belt, my parents show up at your house dressed up, shortly a limo shows up and you go to the concert.
There are all sorts of artists and bands there honoring the troops. You quickly are brought to tears by the music worrying about me. The next person that performs is Toby Keith and he does his song "American Soldier" he gets to the lyrics "I don't want to die for you but if dying is asked of me, i'll bear that cross for you" and you begin to cry, and he reaches "I'm out here on the front lines sleep in peace tonight" and you can't control it anymore and openly weep.
He finishes the song, looks down at you and sees you and my parents all crying. He then stops and asks you why you're so upset and about me, stopping to give prayer that I come home safe which you greatly appreciate.
He then continues saying not all soldiers are asked to die, they are asked to fight and do it well, "but make it through against all odds, always coming back." That one such man is here tonight and that John Michael Montgomery is here to introduce him.
John Montgomery comes out and slowly starts to play his song Letters from Home. In his hand he holds three letters, all dirty and clearly coming from a combat zone, folded in half. He reaches the part where he sings "I hold it up and show my buddies" and he takes the first letter and walks over to my mom, hands it down to her, and pulls her on stage.
As he does this, I walk out in my dress blues, and instantly you know and burst into tears. My mother runs to me and hugs me, all while the song continues, having a longer amount of time in between each verse than normal as my mother and I embrace.
You are surprised as right away the next verse starts and you are given your letter at the beginning verse "My dearest love its almost dawn" and pulled on stage. You reach me right when I wanted you to, because as he starts singing "I saw your momma" you are a few steps away. As he says this I bend down to my knee and pull out a diamond ring as he sings "And I showed her the ring" You stop dead in your tracks, as the music stops and they turn on my mic, as I say "Taylor I told you I would always come back for you, and now I have. You keep me going through all of this, I've never loved someone the way I love you. Make me the happiest soldier of all time, will you marry me?"
You manage to gasp out a yes and embrace me. The song continues, having to take an extra long time during the break before the next verse, and I have to tell you to let go even so that I can finish. He continues singing through the father part, when he reaches "I hold it up and show my buddies" he hands my dad the letter, and pulls him on stage.
There is no running hug this time, I slowly approach my dad, tears in my face, as he looks at me and tells me he is proud, and when we finally reach each other we hug like we never do. Both of us filled with tears.
The song ends and my parents go back in the limo and we go out separately, you continue to simply stare at the large ring, with the engraving around the outside this time, "I will always come back for you" you ask me how I managed to set this all up, and all I say is never doubt my promises and what I am capable of.
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