Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A Soldier's Grace

A Soldier’s Grace
© 2011 Linda McKinney
All Rights Reserved


A soldier’s grace
Always resides
Inside his soul and faith.

In danger’s face
Or sorrow’s place
He stands upon one thing:

His fellow soldiers,
His spirit d’ corps,
His training, his confidence,

All reside
Inside his soul
And from it eternally spring.

His country relies
Upon his grace
To stand and take the call

To defend us all
And go to fall
If need requires it.

A soldier’s grace
Gives his call
A higher calling still.

And when in war
He’ll go before
Face the brunt of it.

Harm and loss
He faces,
Answer to the call

And some do fall
And others hurt
Our stead they give it all.

Let none deny
The soldier’s cry
“Freedom lives if I die.”

A soldier’s grace
always resides
inside his soul and faith.


A soldier bowed his head
To bless the MRE
He sighed and calmed
And quietly said these words to GOD:

“Dear Lord, I’m here
In this desert place.
I came to defend my country,
to keep my family safe.

I pray you watch o’er them,
Keep Jenny and Brandon brave,
Keep my beloved wife
Having faith in me
Don’t let them want
For any little thing.

Keep them all healthy,
Lord, keep them healthy,
So I can return
And see them all.

Don’t let them hurt,
Don’t let them fear,
Don’t let them cry
From things idiots say
About their dad serving
To keep terrorists at bay.

Lord, bless them, keep them,
In your loving arms,
And keep my buddies,
Here, Lord, safe from desert harm.
If I have to fall, Lord,
Pray let it be to serve,
Those who are here with me,
As well as those who “don’t deserve”
Who say that I am wrong, Lord,
For being here in answer
To my country’s call
To protect them from those
Who would see freedom fall.

Lord, I pray for my president,
Let him see Your path, Lord,
To do as You would have him,
And if not guided by
Your loving arms and sight,
Let our president do no harm
To those who fight for what’s right.

Lord, guide me, also,
And don’t let me do wrong.
If I wander near it, Lord,
Stop me, make me strong.

Lord, bless this food now,
Bless this MRE.
Make it nourish me,
Make me grateful,
Remind me that others have less,
And with it I am truly blessed.

GOD I bless and thank You,
For all You say and do,
Your guidance, Lord,
Is what I crave,
Your wisdom, I desire, too.
Let me please You, Lord.
Let me make You proud
Of having a son, Lord,
A humble son like me.

I ask all this in Jesus’ name,
And for Him I thank you more,
Than anything I can think of
His book has my name.

So, thank you, Lord,
For this food,
And for my buddies, too,
Who help me through this desert place,
And who thank You, too.”

With these words,
And another sigh,
Soldier raised his head.
Upward looking,
Soldier smiled
and whispered, “Amen”.


“Excuse me, Ma’am,” the grieving widow heard,
“It’s about your husband, Bird.”

The widow said, “What is it?” her heart beat out her fears.
The blonde soldier in Class As wiped away a tear.

“I want to tell you that I loved him,” she covered her mouth in dismay,
“No, not like that! I’m sorry, Ma’am. I meant a different way.”

“You see, he was my sergeant, but he was more as well:
My friend, my shoulder, my rely-upon, my laughter when life was hell.

He kept an eye out for me, he lifted my spirits tall.
He made my two years over there into my life’s call.

He told me to remember why we served in sand.
To keep in mind my loved ones: my sis, my mom, my dad.

He showed me pictures of his kids, of you and Bucky, too,
And told me of the reason he lives: it all went back to you.

He told me that you brought him to the Lord when he was twenty-two,
And that he was always thankful for the Lord giving him to you.

He loved you very much, you see, and with that love his eyes shone
And with your memory he said that he was never alone.

He saw you as his shining star that led him from afar
His thoughts of you kept his head high and took him from the war.

He loved to talk about you, his children and his dog;
But mostly you, Ma’am. You made him all agog.”

Blonde soldier held out her hand, within it a letter, tattered, torn,
“He asked me to give this to you, if he should never make it home.”

Soldier’s widow tried to smile, a small “Thank you” was all she said,
A quick salute, blonde soldier left her, at the grave of husband dead.

The letter, tattered, torn, was dated a year or so ago,
And as she read it, her tears fell softly upon its indigo.

“My dearest Catherine I love you.” the letter started there,
The words took her away; of others she was not aware.

Blonde soldier made it to the car, collapsed inside,
Pain’s burden weighed her down, but from loss blonde soldier cried.

She wished her friend had survived to return to those he loved.
She knew he died to save others and herself, to safety she was shoved.

Blonde soldier finally sat upright, and wiped the tears away,
And, looking at the sight where her best friend’s body lay,

She said aloud, “I promise you I’ll ne’er forget the lessons you taught me, Sir.
Nor will I ever go back to what I once was, because you’ve made me better.”

She nodded to the friend who had brought her to the grave,
And hoped she had handled things with poise and with some grace.

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