To some, a promise is something said when they really mean it. But to a few small communities across the country, a promise could be the difference between life and death. These heartfelt films illustrate the power of a promise, and what it means to the families who wait and wonder if their parent or spouse is going to make it home from one of the country’s most dangerous jobs.

One more smile from their daughter. One more dinner with their wife. One more chance to put their baby to bed. These are the moments that motivate thousands of brave people to put their promises into practice each day. Watch these emotional portraits as they face their jobs each day armed only with a promise to their families.