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February 24, 2007

The Final Inspection

The Marine 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, Marine,
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 Marine waited quietly,
For the judgment of his God.

"Step forward now, you Marine,
You've borne your burdens well.
Walk peacefully on Heaven's streets,
You've done your time in Hell."

UPDATE

Amy brings us Part II, and a little clarification.

The poem was written by Sgt. Joshua Helterbran of the 224th Engineer Battalion. After he found it circulating around he wrote a part II which he did sign :

Part II

I'm very saddened by America today,
when they take credit for what others say.

I wrote a poem because of problems in my past,
how was I to know that it was going to last.

It has been read by all and loved the same,
but indeed at the end there is no name.

The name is simple for those who know,
it's not Kilmer, Longfellow, Service, or Poe.

It's a soldier who has fought for his country so true,
He's proud of the ole Red, White and Blue.

You now know the poem the one and the same,
The Final Inspection is the name.

I wrote it because of the trials so true,
and of my buddies who died for country and you.

So take this poem, take it as you trod,
because in Heaven I'll see my God.

He will look at me and say don't be sad,
others read your poem and you made them glad.

Now step forward my son and look your best,
and come inside with all the rest.

by: Sgt Joshua Helterbran

- Joatmoaf -

February 24, 2007 at 12:15 PM | Permalink | Comments (13) | TrackBack