THE FINAL INSPECTION The Soldier stood and faced his God, Which must always come to pass. He hoped his shoes were shining, Just as brightly as his brass. "Step forward now, you 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, my Lord, 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 very rough. But, I never took a penny, That wasn't mine to keep... I worked lots of unpaid overtime, Even though my bills got steep. And I never passed a cry for help, Though at times I shook with fear. And sometimes, God, forgive me, I've wept an unmanly tear. I know I don't deserve a place, Among the people here. They never wanted me around, Except to calm their fear. 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." ~Author Unknown~ It's the Soldier, not the reporter, who has given us the freedom of the press. It's the Soldier, not the poet, who has given us the freedom of speech. It's the Soldier, not the politicians, that ensures our right to Life, Freedom and the Pursuit of Happiness. It's the Soldier who salutes the flag, who serves beneath the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag. If you care to offer the smallest token of recognition and appreciation for our Armed Services Men & Women, please pass this on and pray for our men and women who have served and are currently serving our country and pray for those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.