Rylee Preston, 15 Year Old, Writes And Performs, “Soldier’s Light” Song For A Fallen Soldier



Someone emailed me the story posted on WCAX.Com about 15 Year old Rylee Preston, and her song “Soldier’s Light”. Once I heard the song, I had to reach out to Rylee as the song touched me and I felt it needed to be heard by everyone, and I wanted to know what drove her to write it.

I spoke to Rylee’s father, who is very proud of his daughter, as he should be. He tells me that Rylee saw how upset he was over a friend of his who had lost his son in Iraq, Army SPC. Justin Rollins who was killed in 2007.

SPC Justin Rollins

SPC Justin Rollins

Rylee says, “I could just tell in my dad’s voice how upset he was about it, because he was feeling bad for his friend and he said he could only imagine how it would be to lose me,” “Just that moment when she said, ‘Dad, what can we do to help,’ was a moment when I had to catch my breath,” said Jay Preston, Rylee’s dad.

Together they traveled to California and created a work of art — a song called “Soldier’s Light.”  It’s dedicated to the Army paratrooper and the “Ride for the Fallen” memorial scholarship set up in his name.

“You never get over it but you learn to deal with it.  I think the first year, the first everything is the hardest,” said Skip Rollins, Justin’s father.

That pain is highlighted in a video depicting a family dealing with the loss of a loved one. “It personally affects all over our family’s deployment and it affects them in different ways, but a lot of time the same way,” Rollins said.

Rylee wrote the song and has the starring role.  She says it’s a tribute to those who sacrifice for the country’s freedoms — and this grieving dad agrees.  “It’s a total tribute to all of our men and women in uniform,” Rollins said.

“The way the song has already — I’m seeing it’s already touched people’s lives — is something I am very proud of Rylee,” Jay Preston said.

We worked vary hard on this song and video, it was all out of pocket as a gift to my friend Skip Rollin, SPC Justin Rollins father.

Jay tells me that the proceed’s from the sales of the song will go to Rollins Ride  a charity named after SPC Rollins.

Here is the interview I watched that drove my interest in Rylee and her song:

WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Jay tells me that at  Skips request (Justin’s father) Rylee sang Soldier’s Light Live at the event held by “Ride For The Fallen”.


I was back stage,  and Skip told me she had the entire audience (Bikers, a lot of them Vet’s) in tears, and holding up cell phones recording – it was a moment I cant describe for me, because what started out as words on paper became a song, video and tribute. And to watch Rylee sing it live (very nervous her first time in front of a real audience) bring them to tears.


I promise you we have really put a lot of heart, soul, and hard work into this. And although I have no family members in the military and no direct connection, Rylee and I have a great respect and think a lot about what it means to put your life on the line, with family back home.



This is a vary emotional project for me, as I may not be connected to the military direct, but my connection/respect/etc.. comes from being a father… I see a lot of me in Rylee i.e. her morals, sense of humor, road rage (haha) and so I know even though I have never met Justin, if he is any thing like skip, he is a great man, and so this song and video really is for all our Soldiers .



Jay also tells me that the Soldier in the video is an Active Duty soldier, the Soldier Craig gave up his weekend traveling 12 hrs for this video. It was important to Skip that an Active Soldier play the part.

Please also head over to Rylee’s fan page and give her a like, and thanks to you Rylee, this is an awesome tribute.  Here is her fan page  –Rylee Preston

Here is the song, written and performed by Rylee,

Here is the link to the song on itunes – Rylee Preston “Soldiers Light”

And don’t forget to go give her a like on facebook, and tell her thanks! Rylee Preston Fan Page


What are your thoughts?
16 comments on “Rylee Preston, 15 Year Old, Writes And Performs, “Soldier’s Light” Song For A Fallen Soldier
  1. a beautiful song,it has truth to it,every soldier wants to have a home to come home to and yet many don’t,it would be good if everyone would leave a light on to show that there is a home to come home to.

  2. Rylee, you should be very proud of yourself and the message you bringing. I am a mlitary mom who has been very blessed because my child (who is now an adult) has not deployed in a long time. However, as a Mom, I can tell you that the fear in your heart never goes away after your child hands you her Page 2 (sign everything over to you if she dies) and her Red Cross Card (in case something bad happens and you have to get ahold of her. She handed me those documents and for 14 years now that Red Cross card is still posted on my kitchen bulletin board. Just in case…
    Thank you Rylee. You are a very, very special artist.

    • These are things people just don’t think about, having to have a constant reminder posted in the event something bad happens. People like me, who do not have first hand experience. However, I do have a great deal of respect. I have learned so much helping Rylee with this Tribute. Not because I did not care, but because I did not know. I have spent my her lifetime trying to teach Rylee so much, but find that because of her I have experienced so many things I otherwise would not have, and find she has been teaching me at the same time. I have also learned so much from the beautiful comments and support Rylee has received. Just want to tell everyone from Rylees old man, Thank you.

  3. Heartfelt and loving song, I lost my beautiful son in Afghanistan in 2007 Stafff sgt Michael Thomas, he was a sniper and a green beret with only 2 yrs till he could retire he left behind a wife 8 yr old son 18 year old daughter and wife, 2 sisters mom and dad. we miss him every day he was the glue in our family. Funny loving and tough Thank you for the beautiful song, what a beautiful gift to all who have lost a loved one!!!!
    God bless you lfor caring Debbie Kirkpatrick and Family

    • Dear Debbie, I can only fear what you have faced and Thank God that my girl is here in the States. Thank you and your Family for making that Ultimate Sacrifice. I know your Son is looking down with Pride. I am so sorry you have had to find out what being a Gold-Star Family is about forever. Be Blessed.

  4. I am the wife of an ex Canadian soldier. I will always leave a light on for any soldier to know….they will always have a home as long as we have a country. Love to all who serve, for my country and others – all who fight for peace.

  5. I have a very high respect for those in the military. I am only a senior in high school and am already a military girlfriend. Though my boyfriend has a job that (probably) he will not be deployed (supplies), I still worry a little. This song is This song is beautiful, absolutely beautiful. “leave the light on”,Hooah!

  6. hey y’all my name is rebecca watson and i go to banks county high school and i just wanted to say that i can relate to this song so much and this what i have to say… my grandfather served in the military for 25 years…. my uncles served in the military and now i have my cousin that is serving as a marine and i miss him so much and i love this song.. i want to leave the light on for my cousin William i don’t get to see him much maybe once every several years… and that’s all i love him so much…. i just want to see him again…

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