Sunday, December 24, 2006

From a Soldier Going to Iraq . . .

The Night Before Christmas

Twas the night before Christmas, he lived all alone
In a one bedroom house, made of plaster and stone.

I had come down the chimney with presents to give,
And to see just who in this home did live.

I looked all about, a strange sight did I see,
No tinsel, no presents, not even a tree.

No stocking by the mantle, just boots filled with sand,
On the wall hung pictures of far distant lands.

With medals and badges, awards of all kinds,
A sobering thought went through my mind.

For this house was different, it was dark and dreary,
I'd found the home of a soldier, I could at once see clearly.

The soldier lay sleeping, silent, alone,
Curled upon the floor in this one bedroom home.

His face was so gentle, the room in such disorder,
That's not how I'd pictured a United States soldier.

Was this the hero of whom I'd just read?
Curled up on a poncho, the floor for a bed?

I realized the families I saw on this night,
Owe their lives to these soldiers, who're willing to fight.

Soon round the world the childen would play,
And grownups would celebrate a bright Christmas day.

They all enjoyed freedom each month of the year,
Because of the soldiers, like the one lying here.

I couldn't help wonder how many lay alone,
On a cold Christmas Eve, in a land far from home.

That very thought brought a tear to my eye,
I dropped to my knees and started to cry.

The soldier awakened and I heard a rough voice,
"Santa, don't cry, this life is my choice;"

" I fight for freedom, I don't ask for more,
My life is my God, my country, my Corps."

The soldier rolled over and drifted back to sleep,
I couldn't control it, I started to weep.

I kept watch for hours, so silent and still
And we both shivered from the cold night's chill.

I didn't want to leave on that cold, dark night
This Guardian of Honor so willing to fight.

The soldier rolled over, with a voice soft and pure,
And whispered, "Carry on, Santa, It's Christmas Day, All is secure."

One look at my watch and I knew he was right
Merry Christmas, my friend, and to all a Good Night!


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