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Never Forgotten

Mom and Dad,

If you are reading this it means I’m not coming home. I am writing this letter because my unit and I are about to insert north of Ba...
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Mom and Dad,

If you are reading this it means I’m not coming home. I am writing this letter because my unit and I are about to insert north of Baghdad in a strike on a bomb making factory that’s making IED’s and it come time for some payback.

Mom, I will miss your blackberry cobbler when dinners done and all the little things that you do when I’m home that makes it a place of love and family. I know this will hurt you to the soul but I want you to understand that I and many others knew what we were doing and my eyes also water up, not because of what we deal with here but for what you will have to endure if you get this letter. I only wish I could take the pain from your heart so you could feel nothing but joy but I know that joy is the furthest feeling from your heart at this moment. But try to remember the moments we shared when you taught me of love and family. I have taken that with me in every mission and it sustains me when the hot nights close in around me. You and dad are as much a part of every mission as I am. You step with me from the chopper as we hit the ground and can take pride in giving me the life than I can now put on the line for my country and fellow brothers in arms. The support with sending the packages with all the little things you sent for all the guys in my unit gave us all many hours of fun and joy and all the guys eyes light up when one arrives. So as you continue your life remember the good times and don’t dwell on this moment. I love you with all my being and only wish I could have felt one more pat on the head or kiss on my cheek but I will take every moment with me as I enter the place where so many of my brothers wait in a place I hold in Honor.

Dad, you spent your life working to raise me and teaching me that sometimes a man has to stand when other run. You taught me the true meaning of Honor and I have held that in my soul since I was a small boy. Its now time for you to stand tall and help mom through times time as I think she will take it hard and needs you to hold her as she cries. But don’t feel to bad about my not coming home as I fell as I wanted, serving a country that you taught me to love. Every time we deploy I think back to hunting deer in the fall with you showing me how to handle a weapon and track in the snow. I still hear the words you used to tell me about those in our families past that fought in WW1 and WW2 and you in Vietnam. The stories you told of your time in combat and how you made me understand that when boots hit the ground the fight is for the guys next to you not some big picture. I know this letter will rip at your heart but stand strong as mom will need your strength and when the time comes remember that you were with me during every mission and you can take pride in me standing for my country and family. You were right that war is an ugly thing but as you have told me all my life there are times when a Man must stand his ground for a greater good than just his own little life. I will miss those long talks in the woods as we wait in the morning dew for the first break of day but I want you to remember that what I do is my choice and I will wait until you also enter the halls of Honor with me so we can walk the mornings hunt together.

I love and have loved you both all my life and was made the man I am by your teachings and love from the day I gazed at the night sky and asked about the world around me to the day I put these words to paper. If you stop to remember me in the future don’t forget to remember those that stand beside me as we are here because our families taught us that sometimes it requires men leave their blood on the field of battle for the country, people and family we leave behind.

With all my love,

Rickey 
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14 Comments | Report
ilmar
 
ilmar May 04, 2014
This picture is worth more than a thousand words. Great capture of an idea.
Quantummist PRO
Quantummist May 10, 2014
Thanks... It has a lot of personal meaning to me...
kathymuhle PRO+
 
kathymuhle June 12, 2014
Voted
kathleenweetman
 
kathleenweetman November 03, 2014
I love it.....great one....voted ...kathleen
etrdryzt PRO+
 
etrdryzt August 10, 2015
wow what a powerful photo thanks for sharing it with us !!!
Atomck1
 
Atomck1 August 10, 2015
Very powerful image, well done!!
arikamarie
 
arikamarie August 20, 2015
Wow, this made me instantly tear up. Nice work.
howie516 PRO
 
howie516 March 13, 2016
When a photo moves me like this one does it is a masterpiece in my book, well done!
HGrasser PRO+
 
HGrasser August 18, 2016
Absolutely stunning
TimMatthews160 PRO
 
TimMatthews160 August 24, 2016
Incredibly powerful image.
DonnaLG
 
DonnaLG November 01, 2016
Beautiful picture, bought tears to my eyes.
luciegagnon
 
luciegagnon February 11, 2017
Moving image . Extra-ordinary!!!
scottpatterson
 
scottpatterson June 15, 2017
Absolutely brilliant picture and a truly heart throbbing letter, made tears run down my face. It was a true honour to see this picture and to read this letter, thank you for this
sammienicolemolett
 
sammienicolemolett February 13, 2018
So powerful and meaningful. As a military wife this hits so hard. Each and every time my husband deploys I know there is the possibility that I may never see him again, but he does what he does because he loves this country and loves what he does. So heart wrenching and real.
Bferren
 
Bferren May 03, 2018
Absolutely amazing