In the past, Catholic soldiers, when circumstances permitted, went to Confession and received Holy Communion before entering battle. This touching prayer for all who serve in the armed forces emphasizes the spiritual, rather than the physical, dangers of war, because physical death is powerless to kill the soul, but sin can deprive us of Heaven.
Prayer for Those in the Armed Services
O God, we implore Thee, watch over those exposed to the horrors of war and to the spiritual dangers of a soldier's, a sailor's, or an airman's life. Give them such a strong faith that no human respect may ever lead them to deny it, or fear to practice it. Do Thou by Thy grace fortify them against the contagion of bad example, that, being preserved from vice, and serving Thee faithfully, they may be ready to meet death whenever it may happen, through Christ our Lord.
O Sacred Heart, inspire them with sorrow for sin, and grant them pardon. Mother of God, be with them in battle, and, if they should be called to make the supreme sacrifice, obtain for them that they may die in the grace of Thy Divine Son.
May their guardian angels protect them. Amen.