By Brian Porter, Huts For Vets, Director of Operations | Song performed by Mack Bailey
I have used writing as a form of therapy for years now. Mostly it revolves around my experiences with war and I hope to learn from what I do write to better myself. Two years ago, I finally visited a friend I had served with in the Marine Corps. We had remained in touch for 20 + years but had not seen one another in that time. After our visit, I thought about how long it had been since we had seen each other, how great it was to spend time with someone that would, and has, put their life in danger so that you could live your life. I started thinking about just before we went to battle, the promises we made to one another, “If I don’t make it, please live your life for me.” I had made that promise, now, I sometimes find it hard to keep.
When I started writing about my thoughts and feelings, one line kept popping into my head as a melody, “It’s been so long Brother.” I started with that base and kept adding to it for about a year with no real expectations other than writing my thoughts down and knowing it would be a “song” about my feelings, which would help me heal. It wasn’t until a monthly board meeting that a request from Paul Andersen, Founder of Huts for Vets, was voiced for a song that we could play at the Aspen Chapel which would benefit Huts for Vets. I volunteered, quickly regretted it, but was determined to go through with it anyway. Mack Bailey, music therapist and phenomenal musician, then came over to my house to help put the song into what you hear here!
My only hope is that this song touches someone, helps them heal, and gives them the fortitude to “keep the promise.”