COMING HOME - A ww2 story

This story started a few years ago on Halloween when I dressed up as a sailor and took a couple of not-so-great self portraits the next morning. I had started photography not too long before that so my skills were not good enough for me to envision a shoot like this one.

When my skills got better, I started picturing a story of a soldier coming home from the war after a few years away from his hometown and his love.

These photographs and captions are what resulted from my imagination and the work behind the photoshoot.

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End of summer 1945. 

Soldiers were returning home from the war to their wives. Not Frank D. West...

There was someone he had to see first.

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Brothers.

That's how everyone described David and Frank. They had lived next to each other for as long as they could remember. They had even shared a room in college... and a bunk bed after they enrolled in the U.S. army following the attack on Pearl Harbor.

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Frank vividly remembered the death of his friend.

From the moment he heard the kamikaze's plane approaching to the silence of his brother in arms surrounding the raft boat where he stood over David's lifeless body.

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He had waited three years for a chance to say a proper goodbye to his friend, keeping his dog tags to bring them back to his grave.

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"I'll see you around, brother."

His heart full of memories of his brother, he walked away, leaving one of David's tag on his grave, the other around his neck.

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"Betty..." 

Three years since he had last saw her. Had she waited for him? The sight of her, as beautiful as the day he left for war, sent chills up and down his spine.

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Once her tears had dried, they went for a walk on the beach. He told her about the friends he had made during the war and the beautiful places he visited.

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As he retold some of his stories, she knew something was missing...

David...

She had been to his funeral and wondered how his death had affected Frank.

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She saw the tags around his neck... David's was among them.

He told her how they had gained popularity in their company for their loyalty and complicity. Reminiscing on these made a subtle smile appear on his face, but she could sense his pain.

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"I was there when he died you know..."

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It had been a long day for the two of them. They had been reunited and although there was a lot to say, they needed some time in peaceful silence, staring at the sunset.

Together again...

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Although the thought of what would come next entered his mind, Frank grounded himself in the moment.

He was back in his home town with the girl he had loved for so long and who had waited for him for the last three years.

In this moment, nothing else mattered.