A Soldier's Christmas

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Big Lew
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Your Gulf War Unit: C Btry 6th BN/1st FA
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A Soldier's Christmas

Post by Big Lew » Mon Dec 24, 2007 10:00 pm

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."


A Soldier's 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 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 home."

The soldier rolled over
And drifted to sleep,
I couldn'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."



God Bless you and keep you safe.
C-Btry 6th BN, 1st FA
Pinder Barracks, Zirndorf
Rose Barracks, Vilseck(GRAF)
"STEEL ON TARGET!"
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Dagger X-Ray
Good Soldiers Never Die
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Re: A Soldier's Christmas

Post by Dagger X-Ray » Tue Dec 25, 2007 2:27 pm

Merry Christmas Brothers & Sisters
Dagger X-Ray - ARMY
(12/91 - present) - miss the service
(9/90 - 12/91) 2nd Bde 1st Infantry Division - Desert Shield / Desert Storm Combat VET
(9/88 - 9/90) C-17th Signal Battalion of 22nd Signal Brigade - Sachsenhausen Bar Scene VET
(4/88 - 9/88) AIT Fort Gordon, Ga
(12/87 - 3/88) Basic Training Fort Jackson, SC
"People sleep peacefully in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf."
-George Orwell
"I am a soldier, I fight where I am told, and I win where I fight."
- General George Patton
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SaucyWench
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Re: A Soldier's Christmas

Post by SaucyWench » Tue Dec 25, 2007 6:23 pm

Welcome back, Lew, and Merry Christmas to all.
DDBW
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Re: A Soldier's Christmas

Post by DDBW » Thu Jul 26, 2012 2:00 pm

Hi,
I am in the final stages of authoring a booklet on American Wars and A soldiers Christmas experience in wars throughout American history. I would very much like to include you Christmas poem at the conclusion of the booklet. Proceeds will go to The Fisher House. With your permission to use, I will acknowledge you are the source. Hope to hear from you thanks much (ddbwright@gmail.com)
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Big Lew
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Re: A Soldier's Christmas

Post by Big Lew » Thu Jul 26, 2012 2:27 pm

There are many versions of this poem on the web that reflect different branches of the military and conflicts. The original author is James M. Schmidt, who
wrote it while stationed in Washington D.C. back in 1986. It was originally titled, "Merry Christmas, My Friend".
C-Btry 6th BN, 1st FA
Pinder Barracks, Zirndorf
Rose Barracks, Vilseck(GRAF)
"STEEL ON TARGET!"
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redfish
Good Soldiers Never Die
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Joined: Sun Oct 25, 2009 7:36 pm
Your Gulf War Unit: 24th Infantry Division, 197th Infantry Brigage, 72 Engr Co.
Location: North Carolina

Re: A Soldier's Christmas

Post by redfish » Thu Jul 26, 2012 8:48 pm

Thank you to both of y'all.
Shield/Storm
18th Airborne Corps
24th Infantry Division
197th Infantry 72 ENGR CO
Assault and Barrier Pltn
"Sledgehammer"
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