Gary Jacobson


Just a Carolina country boy was Billy McKeel
Sent into the battle’s rift, a nation to heal
Yet his brave spirit still we fondly feel
Just one of America’s sons
Its favored ones
Sent into a cruel land ruled by guns.

Billy’s hallowed destiny
Was to give his all, that we might be
In this land of the brave and free
Billy asked no fanfare or accolade
Sweet memories of him will never fade
For we see him often… when heroes parade.

His brother Ralph brought our lost brother home
Billy’s no longer forsaken, no longer alone.
Loved ones and family stand ever with our brother
Now abiding in peaceful rest from dark days of thunder.
Billy’s shouldering beside brothers on a sacred black granite wall;
Still standing so proudly… still standing so tall.

We who love you, warmly salute you, Billy McKeel
For you on this Veteran’s Day, church bells peel
Gone are days of war, for you, our brother dear
Gone too, the horrors which you and I both fear
Leaving behind the eternal question, Why?
We cannot reason why Billy had to die… and not I?

Billy, love for you, my brother, will ever be true
For you helped sustain our red, white and blue
Because of men like you, our nation’s honor will ensue.
Fearlessly you went where so many others feared to be
You gave your life bravely… a Vietnam casualty
Patrolling the Long Khanh, across the heartbreak sea…
Just doing your duty… for me!

Billy McKeel’s the best man you could ever hope to find
Painful memories of our brother still play on mortal mind
Rack our earthbound beings left behind unkind.
God’s soldiers lifted to the supernal, on the wings of a dove
Rest now in the arms of His perfect love.
God’s grace upon the head of valiant warriors is sprinkled
Washing o’er with Holy dew from courtyards above distilled.

Billy’s eternally free now, survived this world of harms
Risen to find comfort in our Master’s arms.
Risen this brother who’s seen too much
Done too much… suffered trials too much
Pushed too far from the common man’s touch…
Heavenly rewards lay in store for Billy’s noble sacrifice
Billy’s earned a place in God’s supernal paradise!

Gary Jacobson: Billy McKeel