Disclaimer – I own nothing of Army Wives or the song Letters from War. They belong to their respected owners. I own the plot and my original characters. 'Nuff said.
Italics are lyrics and thoughts
A/N: I'm so excited about the premiere of season six of Army Wives, so while I wait for it, I decided to try my hand at an Army Wives story. I KNOW JEREMY IS DEAD, BUT THIS IS MY VERSION OF THE STORY.
Summary: AU: While he is fighting in the war, Jeremy decides to write letters home to his mother. Based on the song Letters from War by Mark Schultz. Rated T because I'm paranoid. One-Shot. My first Army Wives story, so be nice, please. I KNOW JEREMY IS DEAD, BUT THIS IS MY VERSION OF THE STORY.
Denise Sherwood walked out to the mailbox. She felt the rays of the summer sun beat down on her as she shifted through the mail. There was the usual. She found a letter from Jeremy – he was fighting in Iraq.
"Molly, this is from your big brother." Denise crooned to her baby, who was asleep in her crib. She smiled at the baby and went to get some coffee and read the letter from Jeremy.
Denise sat down at the table and opened the envelope from Jeremy. He wrote about the weather and some of the friends that he had made. She noticed that he wrote about Frank, who died last year of a heart attack. His words were – I've been thinking about dad, and the life that he led. That's why I'm here today.
She felt tears in her eyes as she read his final sentence – you are what I'm fighting for.
That was the start of the letters from war.
She walked to the mailbox
On that bright summer's day
Found a letter from her son
In a war far away
He spoke of the weather
And good friends that he'd made
Said I've been thinking 'bout dad
And the life that he had
That's why I'm here today
And at the end he said
You are what I'm fighting for
It was the first of the letters from war
Denise smiled and instantly started writing back to Jeremy. She wrote – you're good and you're brave. You'd make a great father someday. Make it home. Make it safe.
She wrote to him every night after she put Molly to bed.
She started writing
You're good and you're brave
What a father that you'll be someday
Make it home
Make it safe
She wrote every night as she prayed
Two days after Christmas, she was playing with Molly outside when the mail truck pulled up to the mailbox. She picked up Molly and brought the mail inside. There was a letter from Jeremy, but it wasn't his handwriting. Denise put Molly down for a nap before she opened the letter.
To this day, she's not forgotten the words written on the paper. She felt tears in her eyes as she started reading.
The letter was from Jeremy's friend Marcus – it read: I was up on a hill all alone when the shots rang out and the bombs exploded. That's when I saw him – he came back for me. He was captured, that man was your son. He asked me to write to you. I told him I would – I swore to him.
That was the last of the letters from war.
Late in December
A day she'll not forget
Oh her tears stained the paper
With every word that she read
It said, 'I was up on a hill
I was out there alone
When the shots all rang out
And bombs were exploding
And that's when I saw him
He came back for me
And although he was captured
A man set me free
That man was your son
He asked me to write to you
I told him I would, oh I swore'
It was the last of the letters from war
Denise put Molly down for the night and went to the drawer where she had her rosary.
"Please God, let Jeremy be alive." She would pray every night. She then went to her bedroom and got out her stationary. Every night, she would write – you are good and you're brave. What a father that you'll be someday. Make it home, make it safe.
Every day, Denise would write those words, either on stationary or on any piece of paper that would be lying around.
And she prayed he was living
Kept on believing
And wrote every night just to say
You are good
You are brave
What a father that you'll be someday
Make it home
Make it safe
She kept on writing each day
Two years later
Denise was playing with two-year-old Molly in the front yard. A cool autumn breeze blew through Denise's hair as she chased Molly around. Molly had Frank's blond curls that fell to her shoulders.
Just then, a car pulled in the driveway. Molly and Denise stopped chasing each other and Denise fell to the ground. Out stepped a captain where little Jeremy used to stand. He removed his cap and smiled at his mother. She saw that his left arm was in a cast and that he had a scar above his left eyebrow. Other than that, he looked handsome.
"Mom, I'm following orders from all of your letters. I've come home again." Jeremy told Denise. Denise felt the tears streaming down her face as she rushed over to Jeremy. Molly followed her on unsteady legs into Jeremy's arms. Denise led him into the house and Jeremy dropped his bags on the ground. They contained his letters from war.
Then two years later
Autumn leaves all around
A car pulled in the driveway
And she fell to the ground
And out stood a captain
Where her boy used to stand
He said, "Mom I'm following orders
From all of your letters
And I've come home again."
He ran into hold her
And dropped his bags on the floor
Holding all the letters from war
Denise called everyone to let them know that Jeremy was home again.
That night, there was a party to celebrate Jeremy's safe return.
"Frank would've been proud." Emmelin told Denise. She nodded sadly and watched Jeremy with the younger kids – he was telling them the safe version about what happened in Iraq, Chase, Michael, Joan and Trevor standing close by.
Slowly, one by one, the families went home. Roxy gave Jeremy one last hug before she, TJ, Finn and Trevor went home.
Made it home
Jeremy decided to get out of the army and attend classes at the community college off base. He decided to take a speech class and a war history class.
In his history class, a redheaded girl sat next to him and smiled. Jeremy smiled back at her and returned to his notes.
"I'm Alice, by the way." She introduced herself after class. Jeremy noticed that she had soft brown eyes that were hidden behind blue-framed glasses. Jeremy noticed that she was the same height he was. It made it easier for the two of them to communicate.
"Nice to meet you."
Jeremy discovered that Alice was not only in his history class, but in his speech class as well.
"Did you do that on purpose?" Jeremy teased one day.
"No, I didn't." Alice said, laughing. Her laugh reminded Jeremy of the sun – it was warm and beautiful, just like she was.
As Jeremy and Alice got to know one another, he decided that she was the one for him.
"So, do you have anyone in the army?" Alice asked as Jeremy drove them to his mom's place. Denise and her boyfriend, Paul, were making spaghetti.
"My dad was, but he died from a heart attack a long time ago." Jeremy said. "What about you?"
"My grandmother was an army nurse and my mom's a nurse, too." Alice told Jeremy as they pulled into the driveway.
A week after the spaghetti dinner, Jeremy proposed to Alice. Of course, she said 'yes'.
Made it home
A year later
Everyone was waiting outside Jeremy and Alice's hospital room. She was expecting her and Jeremy's first child. Denise and the other army wives were there, along with their husbands and children.
"Momma, baby come now?" Sara Elizabeth asked Joan.
"Soon, sweetie." Joan told the little girl.
Twelve hours later, Jeremy exited the hospital room and walked over to his mom.
"Mom, come meet your new granddaughter and grandson." Jeremy told Denise. She followed him into the hospital room. She smiled when she Alice holding two bundles.
"May I?" Denise asked, rubbing her hands with hand sanitizer before walking over to Alice. "What did you name them?"
"We named the little girl Talia Grace and we named the little boy Taylor Franklin." Alice told Denise, her voice hoarse. Jeremy carefully picked up Taylor and handed him to Denise, who was sitting in a hospital chair.
She held him for a little while before going to get a small group of her friends. She brought in Emmelin, Roxy, Trevor and Roland first.
"They're so beautiful. Congrats you two." Roxy told Alice and Jeremy. Jeremy smiled proudly at his wife and kissed the top of her head.
The rest of the family came in and offered their congratulations to Jeremy and Alice. They then let Alice and Jeremy get a little rest before the babies woke up. Jeremy let six-year-old Molly hold one of the babies and wrapped an arm around Molly's shoulders.
Once the new parents had the room to themselves, Jeremy climbed in behind Alice and held her in his arms. Their family was now complete.
Made it home
Sixteen-year-old Taylor kissed his sister and mom before hugging his dad. He saluted his family before getting on the bus that would take him to basic training.
"Make it home safe." Alice told her oldest.
"I promise." Taylor said, smiling at his family one last time.