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Military Life: A Military Man’s Promise

So often the life of a military spouse is filled with tears.  Tears of joy, tears of longing, tears of goodbye.  The tears can be happy or sad or even a mixture of both.  This poem has been titled a few different ways and has circulated around our community but the original author gave me permission to share it because it depicts this military life we lead. This life is not for the faint of heart, and every military spouse can relate to it in some way.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did (though I did go through a tissue or 2!)



Military Life: A Military Man’s Promise
Megan Williams© 2011, all rights reserved.

I cannot promise you every night of my life.

I cannot promise to be beside you for every difficult moment, every trial, and every hardship.

In truth, I can promise you that I will not be with you for most.

I will leave you at inconvenient times.

Any special date to us may be tainted with the anniversary of the death of one of my friends.

I will ask you to take over whatever life we have built together for months and years at a time.

And will then crash back into that life that you have used your sweat, your tears and your heartache to keep together,
and try to take it back as I knew it before.

I will shut you out at times because it will be the best way for me to hold it together at that moment.

I will lie to you.

I will tell you I don’t know things when I do.

I will not always tell you where I am going, when I will be back, or who I am with.

I may not call you for weeks and months and you will not be able to call me.

You will ask questions that I won’t answer.

You will know answers to questions that you will hope you never need.

I will share things with my brothers that you will never understand.

They will know things about me that you never will.

They will be a support to me in some things that you cannot be.

I will miss birthdays.

I will miss anniversaries.

I may need time to process things that seem natural to everyone else.

It will seem that someone – or something – will always take precedence over you.

I will uproot you and ask you to re-establish our family anywhere in the world, in any season, at any time – over and over again.

Sand and mud will be tracked through your halls from the boots I am too tired to take off.

I will leave you when you beg me not to.

I will stand at attention while you cry beside me.

I will not turn my head and I will walk away.

I will knowingly break your heart.

And I will do it again – and again.

I cannot promise you all of me.

I cannot promise you much of anything.

But if you will have me, I can promise that as I march away from you, it is not without sharing your heartache.

I promise you that every time I break your heart I will be breaking mine.

Every time that I cannot answer you I will be protecting you.

Whenever you want to call and you have no number to dial, I will be wanting to do the same.

I will protect everything that we have created together with every fiber of my being while you do the same back at home.

I will honor you in everything – every moment that we are apart and every moment that I am with you.

I will fight harder and push further knowing that I do so for you.

And I will carry you with me in everything, until my sandy boots once again sit just inside our door.

This poem is shared in numerous places including The Direction Diva blog. ~Judy Davis, aka the Direction Diva is a motivational speaker, author and entrepreneur as well as a military life and teen suicide prevention expert. Co-founder of DASIUM, Judy’s books Right Side Up  and Warning Signs: Is Your Teen at Riskare go to resources for families and her websites are filled with tips, inspiration and resources for those looking for direction. Connect with Judy at


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