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The Final Inspection – A Poem

January 10, 2012

The Soldier stood and faced God, Which must always come to pass. He hoped his shoes were shining, Just as brightly as his brass.. ‘Step forward now,Soldier , How shall I deal with you? Have you always turned the other cheek? To My Church have you been true?’ The soldier squared his shoulders and said, ‘No, Lord, I guess I ain’t. Because those of us who carry guns, Can’t always be a saint. I’ve had to work most Sundays, And at times my talk was tough. And sometimes I’ve been violent, Because the world is awfully rough. But, I never took a penny, That wasn’t mine to keep… Though I worked a lot of overtime, When the bills got just too steep. And I never passed a cry for help, Though at times I shook with fear.. And sometimes, God, forgive me, I’ve wept unmanly tears. I know I don’t deserve a place, Among the people here. They never wanted me around, Except to calm their fears If you’ve a place for me here, Lord, It needn’t be so grand. I never expected or had too much, But if you don’t, I’ll understand. There was a silence all around the throne, Where the saints had often trod. As the Soldier waited quietly, For the judgment of his God. ‘Step forward now, you Soldier, You’ve borne your burdens well. Walk peacefully on Heaven’s streets, You’ve done your time in Hell.’

Posted on Facebook by Seal of Honor
Original Source and Author Unknown
If you know the source of either the poem or photo please let me know so that I can give credit.

14 Comments leave one →
  1. Larry Huppert permalink
    May 28, 2012 10:59 pm

    The Author is Sgt. Joshua Helterbran. He added a second verse, or Part II, probably because others were using it, and changing the names (soldier to policeman), but weren’t giving credit. Here is a link to a site that gives both verses, plus additional information about Joshua:

  2. January 16, 2012 8:21 am

    This is a well written and beautiful piece.

  3. January 13, 2012 9:50 pm

    Beautiful, heart-wrenching post…

  4. January 11, 2012 4:35 pm

    Beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

  5. robert2feather2011 permalink
    January 11, 2012 12:12 pm

    The soldier walked among his friends: fallen on this day. The carnage great, the battlefield was a mess; he came upon a fallen friend with blood apron his chest, the soldier fell on his knees to look apron his friend. He could barely hear what the man said with his dying breath. Bending close to hear his friend, he heard him say: did I fight well today, will my folks be proud of me, and will my god take me to his chest. Now it’s been a lifetime since the soldier walked among his friends, and he thinks how proud he is of those who fell apron that field that day, and wonders what life would be like today, if this friend was allowed to stay.
    One life is given- taken away/and other life is given but allowed to stay-The way of the warrior.

    • Jennifer permalink
      January 13, 2012 6:51 am

      OMG, where are my tissues???!!!! That is beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time. I know a combat vet who has issues with survivor guilt and this helps me to understand a bit better. Thank you for posting it!

    • January 16, 2012 8:25 am

      What a beautiful piece.

  6. momthewriter permalink
    January 11, 2012 5:45 am

    I love this.

  7. kianys permalink
    January 11, 2012 2:26 am

    This made me fight back tears a bit – very beautiful

  8. January 10, 2012 11:09 pm

    Another great post. I enjoyed reading your blog today.

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  9. January 10, 2012 10:19 pm

    Thank you for your pages. Check this out:

  10. January 10, 2012 10:07 pm

    Very well written I love it.
    It does seem to be the case these days when we read something like this, which can touch so many people; we never know who wrote these great words, it is a shame.


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