A SOLDIER'S PRAYER                                    HOME
Donít let me die in vain.
Donít let my being
be without purpose.
If Iím not to die a hero,
let me die lighting the way
for comrades to come
who will be heroes.
Then I wonít have died in vain.
Guide me to a site of battle.
If that battle be lost,
let me fire at least a shot.
Let me die in a test tube,
or in a Petri dish,
if the tube or dish
be on the front lines.
Donít commit me
to eternity in liquid nitrogen.
Itís cold in here.
If I'm not to die hero,
let me be,
however briefly,
a soldier.
Assign me to
a corps of engineers,
sent to erect a bridge
joining the ends
of a broken spinal cord.
Or assign me to a regiment,
sent to rescue a sick pancreas.
I ask only to die in a skirmish,
however small and unnoticed,
that one day others of my rank
may be heroes.
Donít let me die in vain.

 (Bill Swart, on a cold Sunny January
 ought-nine day in Michigan)