The act of saying goodbye is always an emotional one, especially when it’s to loved ones who are going to war. The vintage photos of soldiers kissing their girlfriends, wives, or even kids before getting deployed or going to war capture the human side of war.
The shots depict the immense sacrifices that soldiers and their loved ones had to make during World War II.
Many of them knew they might not make it back home alive. These photos captured the raw emotions of those moments, soldiers hugging their loved ones tightly, looking into their eyes, and kissing them goodbye.
These moments of goodbye display the deep love and commitment that soldiers and their families had for one another, despite the challenges and uncertainty that lay ahead.
The old photographs serve as a poignant reminder of the sacrifices that soldiers and their families made during times of war. War is not solely about the soldiers who fight on the front lines; it is also about the families left behind.
The duration of time that soldiers spent overseas during World War II varied based on the location and mission. Some soldiers were deployed for several months, while others were sent overseas for several years.
For example, soldiers who fought in the European theater typically spent longer periods away from home than those who served in the Pacific theater. In general, soldiers stationed overseas for a year or more were not allowed to take leave and return home.
Written correspondence provided soldiers with a much-needed connection to events back home. For families at home, receiving word from soldiers in the field provided additional assurance against fears of loss.
So many letters were exchanged between soldiers and their families during the Second World War that letters eventually had to be microfilmed to save space on cargo ships. This microfilmed mail was known as Victory mail, or V-mail.
Many letters sent home included detailed information about what daily military life was like, focusing on ordinary activities that took place between military operations.
Since letters were strictly censored, there was no specific information about the soldier’s location or the military operation they were affiliated with.
Correspondence sent from loved ones at home, on the other hand, was full of local details, such as weather, sports teams, gossip, or family matters.
(Photo credit: Pinterest / Flickr / US Army Archives).