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Time of year, a soldier's silent night

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by clearconscience, Dec 9, 2014.

  1. clearconscience

    clearconscience Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    "A Soldier's Silent Night":

    ‘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 dwelling did live.
    As I looked all around, a strange sight to see,
    no tinsel, no presents, not even a tree.
    No stocking on the mantle, just boots filled with sand.
    On the wall hung pictures of far distant lands.
    Medals and badges, awards of every kind,
    a sobering thought came alive in my mind.
    This house was different, it was dark, it was dreary.
    I had found the home of a soldier, I could see that most clearly.
    The soldier lay sleeping silent, alone.
    Curled up on the floor in his one-bedroom home.
    His face was so gentle, room in such disorder,
    Not at all how I pictured a U.S. soldier.
    Was this the hero, of whom I’d just read?
    Curled up on a poncho, a floor for a bed?
    Then I realized the other families that I saw this night
    Out there lies the soldiers who are willing to fight.
    In the morning around the world, children would play
    Grown-ups would celebrate a bright Christmas day
    But they all enjoyed freedom, each month through the year,
    because of soldiers like the one lying here.
    I couldn’t help but wonder how many lay alone,
    on a cold Christmas Eve, in lands far from home.
    The very thought brought a tear to my eye.
    and I dropped to my knees and I started to cry.
    The soldier awakened, I heard his 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 control it, and I continued to weep.
    I kept watch for hours, so silent and still.
    as both of us shivered from the cold night’s chill.
    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 with a voice soft and pure.
    He whispered, “Carry on Santa, it’s Christmas Day, all secure.”
    One look at my watch and I knew he was right,
    Merry Christmas my friend,
    May God bless you this night.
    The Original Poem,
    as printed in the December 1991 edition of "Leatherneck":
    '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.
    As 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 a far distant land.
    With medals and badges, awards of all kind,
    a sobering thought soon came to my mind.
    For this house was different, unlike any I’d seen.
    This was the home of a U.S. Marine.
    I’d 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.
    He seemed so gentle, his face so serene,
    Not how I pictured a U.S. Marine.
    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 around the Nation, the children would play,
    And grown-ups would celebrate on a bright Christmas day.
    They all enjoyed freedom, each month and all year,
    because of Marines 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 I started to cry.
    He must have awoken, for 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, 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 covered this Marine from his toes to his head.
    Then I put on his T-shirt of scarlet and gold,
    with an eagle, globe and anchor emblazoned so bold.
    And although it barely fit me, I began to swell with pride,
    and for one shining moment, I was Marine Corps deep inside.
    I didn’t want to leave him so quiet in the night,
    this guardian of honor so willing to fight.
    But half asleep he rolled over, and in a voice clean and pure,
    said “Carry on, Santa, it’s Christmas Day, all secure.”
    One look at my watch and I knew he was right,
    Merry Christmas my friend,
    Semper Fi and goodnight.
     
    forefathersrback likes this.
  2. clearconscience

    clearconscience Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    forefathersrback likes this.
  3. clearconscience

    clearconscience Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    Soldier On Watch
    Christmas Poem




    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.

    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 eye 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,
    Alone 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 here this moment, it's freezing out there!
    Put down your pack, brush the snow from your arm,
    you should be at home, this cold could do harm!"

    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"

    "Its 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... flagstar.gif the 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 sisters and brothers
    who stand at the front against any and all,
    to insure 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.