The Few. The Proud

October 22, 2008
By Joci Hansen, Dell Rapids, SD

A year from now my life won’t be the same. I won’t be a junior in high school, I won’t like the same movies, and I won’t be thinking about my life two years ago. I will be visiting colleges, laughing with my friends in the senior hallway, and praying that he doesn’t go to Iraq.

July 16, 2008.

“I’m in.” I reread the text message again and again. I cried for hours straight. My room mate tried so hard to comfort me. She could see how much pain these two tiny words shot into me. She went to the vending machine and got me chocolate bars, she turned on the music she knew made me think of home, and most importantly she didn’t ask me to explain any of it.

I can’t explain to you why I was crying or why I didn’t care to hear this information but it was all the worst news I could have received at the time. I was in Mankato, Minnesota, attending a college volleyball camp at MSU-Mankato. I returned to my dorm prior to going to supper that evening; however, I didn’t go to supper. Those two words, “I’m in,” had me on my knees, sobs shaking my worn out body in seconds.

I replied to his text in the happiest tone you can fake over texting. “Really? Your mom signed it?!” But the truth was, I was not at all excited about it. I really wished she hadn’t even considered signing it. But I wanted to be happy for him. This is exactly what he wanted to do and even if it killed me I was going to support him.

The rest of my evening was filled with sincere hugs from my dorm mates, more Hersey's Milk Chocolate bars than I can ever remember eating, an immense amount of ear splintering music, a truck load of remembering, and lots of texts zipping along the satellite waves. The two of us talked for hours just the way we usually did. Sarcastic comments, pointless conversation, and inside jokes flowed out of my fingers and on to the screen of my phone.

Not once in the silent chatter did I lead on that I was sitting in my dorm, alone, with my music blaring, eating chocolate bars, and reminiscing. I just wanted to remember the times we had together as friends, as a couple, and as supporters. I knew he didn't care whether or not I supported him in his decision. I cared too much though; I cared so much that I knew the only thing to do was support him.

As thoughts drifted through my mind I realized I was crying again. I was nearly to the floor again; shaking, sobbing. I couldn't stop. I wanted to be home so badly I would have walked. Somehow, amidst all of my pain though, an inkling of happiness welled inside of me. I had come to a realization: I could not be sad about something that he was so happy about. Even though I was scared for him, I had to be happy because he was going to get to do precisely what he wanted to. I always knew he would do what he wanted and he wouldn't take “no” for an answer.

I'm not sure where I'll be in two years, in one year, in one week. But I know I will always care about him, no matter where our lives may take us, in one way or another. And I know he will always stand strong. One of the few, the proud, the Marines.

Similar Articles


This article has 0 comments.


MacMillan Books

Aspiring Writer? Take Our Online Course!