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Posted: 12/16/2005 3:00:45 AM EDT
The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
> I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
>
> My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
> My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.
>
> Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
> Transforming the yard to a winter delight.
>
> The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,
> Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.
>
> My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
> Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.
>
> In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,
> So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.
>
> The sound wasn't loud, and it wasn't too near,
> But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear.
>
> Perhaps just a cough, I didn't quite know,
> Then the sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.
>
> My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
> And I crept to the door just to see who was near.
>
> Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
> A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.
>
> A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
> Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.
>
> Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
> Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.
>
> "What are you doing?" I asked without fear,
> "Come in this moment, it's freezing out here!
>
> Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
> You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!"
>
> For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
> Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts..
>
> To the window that danced with a warm fire's light
> Then he sighed and he said "Its really all right,
>
> I'm out here by choice. I'm here every night."
> "It's my duty to stand at the front of the line,
>
> That separates you from the darkest of times.
> No one had to ask or beg or implore me,
> I'm proud to stand here like my fathers before me.
>
> My Gramps died at 'Pearl on a day in December,"
> Then he sighed, "That's a Christmas 'Gram always remembers.
>
> My dad stood his watch in the jungles of 'Nam',
> And now it is my turn and so, here I am.
>
> I've not seen my own son in more than a while,
> But my wife sends me pictures, he's sure got her smile."
>
> Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
> The red, white, and blue... an American flag.
>
> "I can live through the cold and the being alone,
> Away from my family, my house and my home.
>
> I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
> I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.
>
> I can carry the weight of killing another,
> Or lay down my life with my sister and brother..
>
> Who stand at the front against any and all,
> To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall."
>
> "So go back inside," he said, "harbor no fright,
> Your family is waiting and I'll be all right."
>
> "But isn't there something I can do, at the least,
> "Give you money," I asked, "or prepare you a feast?
>
> It seems all too little for all that you've done,
> For being away from your wife and your son."
>
> Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,>
> "Just tell us you love us, and never forget
>
> To fight for our rights back at home while we're gone,
> To stand your own watch, no matter how long.
>
> For when we come home, either standing or dead,
> To know you remember we fought and we bled,
>
> Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,
> That we mattered to you as you mattered to us."
>
Link Posted: 12/16/2005 4:20:08 AM EDT
An oldie but a good one, especially this time of year. Thank you for posting it..........
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