• '18 '17 '16 '11 Moderator

    Twas the night before Christmas, he lived all alone,
    In a one bedroom house made of plaster & 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 I did see,
    No tinsel, no presents, not even a tree.
    No stocking by the fire, just boots filled with sand,
    On the wall hung pictures of far distant lands.

    With medals and badges, awards of all kind
    A sober thought came through my mind.
    For this house was different, so dark and dreary,
    I knew I had found the home of a soldier, once I could see clearly.

    I heard stories about them, I had to see more
    So I walked down the hall and pushed open the door.
    And there he lay sleeping silent alone,
    Curled up on the floor in his one bedroom home.

    His face so gentle, his room in such disorder,
    Not how I pictured a United States soldier.
    Was this the hero of whom I’d just read?
    Curled up in his poncho, a floor for his bed?

    His head was clean shaven, his weathered face tan,
    I soon understood this was more than a man.
    For I realized the families that I saw that night
    Owed their lives to these men who were willing to fight.

    Soon ‘round the world, the children would play,
    And grownups would celebrate on a bright Christmas day.
    They all enjoyed freedom each month of the year,
    Because of soldiers like this one lying here.

    I couldn’t help wonder how many lay alone
    On a cold Christmas Eve in a land far from home.
    Just the 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.”

    With that he rolled over and drifted off into sleep,
    I couldn’t control it, I continued to weep.
    I watched him for hours, so silent and still,
    I noticed he shivered from the cold night’s chill.

    So I took off my jacket, the one made of red,
    And I covered this Soldier from his toes to his head.
    And I put on his T-shirt of gray and black,
    With an eagle and an Army patch embroidered on back.

    And although it barely fit me, I began to swell with pride,
    And for a shining moment, I was United States Army deep inside.
    I didn’t want to leave him on that cold dark night,
    This guardian of honor so willing to fight.

    Then the soldier rolled over, whispered with a voice so clean and pure,
    “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!

    A Marine stationed in Okinawa Japan wrote this poem, allegedly.

  • 2007 AAR League

    Damn fine poem…may god bless all those who serve.

  • 😢The poem speaks volumes.  I hope many people see it and take it to heart.  Too many, it seems, don’t appreciate the freedoms they enjoy.

  • Fortunately many of us, both in an out of uniform, do understand both the value of, and the fragility of, our freedoms.

    Whether with M16 or Ballpoint, the battle rages and I support the warriors on all battlefields fighting for what is right.

  • '18 '17 '16 '11 Moderator

    That’s the one I recite now, instead of the original version.  It has more meaning, especially in a war torn world, I think.  Not to mention, that is how a United States soldier views himself, as a guardian, a protector.  Not a hostile war machine bent on the destruction and death and carnage of all he purveys.  I think, with some of the childish pranks that have been blown out of proportion, much of the world has forgotten about the average, everyday soldier putting his or her life on the line every day so that children and mothers and fathers can sleep safe and secure in their homes.

    Regardless of your nation of origin, the poem rings true.  Whether you are American, Canadian, English, Russian, German.  You can swamp the names and places and uniform, but the story is picture is true, somewhere in your recent past.

    And that’s why, for the 2nd Christmas now, I’ve posted it on the forums.  It’s meaningful to many.

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