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Posted: 11/25/2003 8:17:14 AM EDT
I hope this is not too old.

To all Soldiers, present and past, I salute you.



Soldiers Christmas


T'WAS 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 I DID SEE,

NO TINSEL, NO PRESENTS,

NOT EVEN A TREE.
________

NO STOCKING BY MANTLE,

JUST BOOTS FILLED WITH SAND,
ON THE WALL HUNG PICTURES

OF FAR DISTANT LANDS.

__________
WITH MEDALS AND BADGES,

AWARDS OF ALL KINDS,

A SOBER THOUGHT

CAME THROUGH MY MIND.

________

FOR THIS HOUSE WAS DIFFERENT,

IT WAS DARK AND DREARY,

I FOUND THE HOME OF A SOLDIER,
ONCE I COULD SEE CLEARLY.

_______
THE SOLDIER LAY SLEEPING,

SILENT, ALONE,

CURLED UP ON THE FLOOR

IN THIS ONE BEDROOM HOME.

________
THE FACE WAS SO GENTLE,

THE ROOM IN SUCH DISORDER,

NOT HOW I 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

THAT I SAW THIS NIGHT,

OWED THEIR LIVES TO THESE SOLDIERS

WHO WERE WILLING TO FIGHT.
_______
SOON ROUND THE WORLD,

THE CHILDREN 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.

________

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."
________

THE SOLDIER ROLLED OVER

AND DRIFTED TO SLEEP,

I COULDN'T'T CONTROL IT,

I CONTINUED 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.
_________

THEN THE SOLDIER ROLLED OVER,

WITH A VOICE SOFT AND PURE,

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."

________

This poem was written by a Marine stationed in O Okinawa Japan.
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