A look back at Rylee Preston's emotional tribute song to a fallen soldier
Rylee Preston was 15 years old when she wrote and performed Soldier’s Light, a song dedicated to a fallen soldier.
In 2015, Guardian of Valor revealed the story behind the song and the source of inspiration for the artist.
The artist, Rylee Preston, witnessed how upset her father was when his friend lost his lost in Iraq. Army SPC. Justin Rollins was killed in 2007 while on duty.
The singer said, “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.”
Rylee asked her father, Jay Preston, if they could do something to help the family.
They traveled to California and created the song, Soldier’s Light. It was dedicated to the Army paratrooper and the ‘Ride for the Fallen’ memorial scholarship set up in Rollins’ name.
The video has been viewed over four million times on YouTube.
The artist said that all proceeds from the song, which is available on iTunes and other platforms, will be donated to build a memorial.
The plan was to incorporate a light ‘forever lit’ to remember and honor the fallen and all those who have served the country. Rylee dedicated her work to all armed forces.
Justin’s father, Skip Rollins, said that he never got over it but only learned to deal with the pain. The first year and the first of everything was the hardest.
The pain is highlighted in the video, where a family is dealing with the loss of a loved one.
The soldier’s father said that the sorrow affected the family in different ways.
Rylee was proud the song touched people’s lives. She said it was a tribute to all the men and women in uniform.
The father-daughter duo worked hard on the song and the video. They spent money from their own pockets and only thought of it as a gift to the Skip Rollins and his family.