The Final Inspection


Gunnery Sgt. Shawn D. Angell is a drill instructor at the Officer Candidate School aboard Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va., dedicated to training, educating, evaluating and screening the many candidates who go through the course and turning them into Marine leaders.

By Sgt. Joshua Helterbran

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 foward now you soldier,
How shall I deal with you?
Have you always turned the other cheek,
And 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 saints

“I’ve had to work most Sundays
And at times my talk was tough
And sometimes I’ve been violent
Because the streets were awfully rough”

But I never took a penny,
That was’nt mine to keep
Though I worked a lot of overtime
When the bills just got to steep,

And I never passed a cry for help
Although, at times I shook with fear
And sometimes, God forgive
I’ve wept unmanly tears

I know I don’t deserve a place
Among the people here
That never wanted me around
Except to calm there fears

If you have a place for me here O’ Lord
It needn’t be so grand
I’ve never expected, or had so much
But if you don’t I’ll understand”

There was a silence all around the throne
Where the Saints had often trod
As this soldier waited quietly
For the judgment from his God

“Step foward now you soldier,
You’ve borne your
burdens well
Walk peacefully on Heaven’s streets,
You’ve done your time in Hell”

A Pledge to My Country-America the Beautiful

Monument Valley Near Kayenta, Arizona

Monument Valley Near Kayenta, Arizona



My sister recently said to me, “Sister, you need to smell the flowers”

How can I, when the world has me soured

When I awake everyday I am disgusted when I read

About our country selling us out, dirty politicians aiming to succeed

Corporations, lobbyists, the rich and powerful offer bribes

So our congress passes laws for us to acquiesce and imbibe

To give our jobs away, let illegals stay, raise the taxes for the average man

Bad globalization pacts, Anti-American acts, allow the pollution of our land

No regulations on banks, or for our gas tanks

No protections for the elderly, disabled, our veterans, but for all that is wrong

Give all the rights to non-Americans who don’t belong

Yet our veterans who fight for the land of the free

Are homeless, jobless, sick, and diseased

They come home traumatized, limbless, many in coffins

Troops, dying, all too often

Provisions are given to all who don’t embrace our nation

And then when they abuse us, we give them salvation

But for our troops who die to protect us, their lives they invest

Their families aren’t cared for so their souls can rest

Our leaders take our pensions, social security, our homes, and healthcare

They’ll take the entire American Dream and leave our cupboards bare

How far can the greed and power go?

Enough to crush the peoples’ hearts and souls

We have reached a threshold and it’s time to fight

We’ll clean up this country

With mind, muscle, and might

Let the people vote on and control the issues at hand

It’s the only way for us to save our great land

No more power for the leaders and lobbyists to wield

We’ll take back our country before our fate is sealed

We’ll ban corporations, banks, those who do us wrong

Our plight will take courage and sacrifice, but before long

We’ll show them that corruption is not welcome anymore

Enforced ethics and laws will be at the very core

No more loopholes, scams, immoral shams

No more wrongs that are righted

No more “I don’t give a damns”

No more people afraid to speak what is true

Americans are offended, whoever doesn’t like it, the exit is there for you

You will respect this country, and treat it with good manners

We will not tolerate spitting on or burning our flag and banners


We’ll show them the Power of “We the People”

Our strength coming from unity

God, prayers, he does keep all

I’m tired of being sickened and I don’t want to cry

Instead, I want relief and when I exhale a sigh

I want it to be one of happiness and joy, a smile on my face

For my America is restored, my home, my place

I want to hold my hand over my heart and pledge my allegiance with pride

With my fellow Americans standing by my side

My fellow Patriots, happiness we again feel

The fruit of our labor, America is healed!

So, one day again when my sister does relay

“Sister, you need to smell the flowers,” I will turn to her and say

The smell of violets, lilies, and roses emanating in the air

The sweet chords of a violin, playing for me to hear

The mountains, valleys, and oceans of my beautiful country are in my sight

The taste of victory in my mouth for we have won the great fight…


Written by: Kathleen Kessel

You may contact Kathleen at

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