Tho this poem is not an "Official" Bataan Poem.....
many Veterans have sent it to me
and I feel it honors them to publish here.
Final Inspection - Part I Final Inspection - Part II
The soldier stood and faced God, I'm very saddened by America today,
Which must always come to pass, when they take credit for what others say.
He hoped his shoes were shining, I wrote a poem because of problems in my past,
Just as brightly as his brass. how was I to know that it was going to last.
"Step forward now, you soldier, It has been read by all and loved the same,
How shall I deal with you? but indeed at the end there is no name.
Have you always turned the other cheek?
To My Church have you been true?" The name is simple for those who know,
The soldier squared his shoulders and it's not Kilmer, Longfellow, Service, or Poe.
said, "No, Lord, I guess I ain't, It's a soldier who has fought for his country so true,
Because those of us who carry guns, He's proud of the ole Red, White and Blue.
Can't always be a saint. You now know the poem the one and the same,
I've had to work most Sundays, The Final Inspection is the name.
And at times my talk was tough, I wrote it because of the trials so true,
And sometimes I've been violent, and of my buddies who died for country and you.
Because the world is awfully rough. So take this poem, take it as you trod,
But, I never took a penny because in Heaven I'll see my God.
That wasn't mine to keep He will look at me and say don't be sad
Though I worked a lot of overtime others read your poem and you made them glad.
When the bills got just too steep,
And I never passed a cry for help, Now step forward my son and look your best,
Though at times I shook with fear, and come inside with all the rest.
And sometimes, God forgive me,
I've wept unmanly tears.
Author: Sgt Joshua Helterbran
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 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."
Back to Poetry Page Main Page