I got this poem from a mailing from the Disabled American Veterans. Please take a pause and remember our armed forces who gave us our freedom.
‘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,
and on the wall pictures of far distant lands.
With medals and badges, awards of all kinds,
a sobering thought came to my mind.
For this house was different, so dark and so dreary,
the home of a soldier, now 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 her.
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 live 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 soon drifted to sleep,
I couldn’t control it, I continued to weep,
I keep watch for hours, so silent and still,
and we both shivered from the cold evening’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.”
By Lance Corporal James M. Schmidt
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays
and a Happy, Healthy New Year to All!
By Rosalinda Morgan, Author of “Saving Wentworth Hall”