On December 15, 1944, Valentina and Merle Martin celebrated their third wedding anniversary with a hug, a kiss, and a goodbye-possibly forever. From that day forward, Merle Martin vowed to write his wife a letter every day as long as he was able when stationed in Hawaii and later on Okinawa during his service in World War II. Despite the flooding, typhoons, air raids, and operation of a field hospital less than a mile behind the front lines, Merle kept his promise. In his absence, Val would eventually collect well over three hundred of his letters expressing his fear, sorrow, everlasting love, and unfaltering hope for a better future. In what seemed like a lifetime of separation, Val and Merle remained together through their words and joint hope that he would one day return home safely. After reading through them for the last time, Val Martin has combined Merle's letters with her own personal narrative to paint a picture of the difficulties they faced during what would be their most challenging year as individuals and as a married couple. Dear Valentina bears witness to their experience of grief and loss as well as faithfulness and love in a time of war. About the Author: Valentina Martin was born in Tama County, Iowa on February 11, 1925. With Czech as her first language and English as her second, Val became determined to learn English and learn it well. In doing so, she received a Bachelor of Arts and a Masters Degree in English Literature from the University of Northern Iowa, including several courses at Arizona State University while wintering in Scottsdale, AZ. She completed her masters' degree while owning a real estate firm. In December of 1941, Val married her husband, Merle, and they had one son, Jerald L. Martin who lives in Waterloo, Iowa where she now also resides. After Merle's death in November of 2005, Val made it her personal mission to honor his memory and service during World War II by re-reading the love letters he had sent to her and through them sharing the history they witnessed. Dear Valentina is the realization of her dream to share their story with the world and to honor their love forever.