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 dessert 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 dessert 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.