GOD AND THE SOLDIER
Sing up you bold American fighting men and let all see,
That you have kept the faith learned at your mother’s knee.
You have not listened to the pseudo sophisticate’s doubting lament;
You have no doubt that by your nation and God you’ve been sent.
You can’t, by scientific research, prove your faith verifiably right,
For if you could do, your faith would be an unnecessary delight.
They who laugh and call you superstitious can’t prove you wrong,
Nor is there evidence, or proof, that stands against your song.
That lack of verifiable evidence to establish it as yea or nay,
Keeps your belief in dignity to face what others may say.
You rugged US soldiers fight for right and flag and God,
Till they lay you gently under your own bloodied sod.
©Copyright March 8, 2004 by Roger Liebmann
Author’s Note: The link between God and the soldier is seen by some as tenuous at best. I had the privilege to work with a number of Chaplains in the US Army from many different faiths. That there were some excellent fighting men who took their faith very seriously was most evident.
One night, when I was having a little nap in a quiet corner of the chapel on our base in Vietnam, some big Afro-American, no-nonsense, sergeants from the battalion came into the chapel. I had not expected them to come into the chapel; nor had I seen them in the chapel before. It was late on a Saturday night and the men usually have other things on their minds after downing their favorite poison at the enlisted men’s watering hole.
These men paid me no attention at all. They walked purposely to the corner where the Organ was kept. They grouped around the fellow who sat on the stool, and they began to sing in earnest some of the most moving gospel songs I have ever heard. They didn’t care who heard them. It seemed that they were in a mood to talk to their God; and this was the form of communication with which they felt most at home. The voices were not pretty; but, they sang in a full manly, elegant manner what their spirituality required of them. I have never seen a chapel used to better purpose.