"Madame, bear in mind That princes govern all things--save the wind." -Victor Hugo, The Infanta's Rose

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

A soldier's Christmas

One thing I'd like to make very clear on this blog is that while I am no fan of Dubya and how he involved us in Iraq, I have nothing but the utmost respect and admiration for our troops who are doing the dirty work over there while politicians and pundits argue about it from the safety and comfort of our warm homes. With that in mind, I want to post this poem sent to me today by a friend. I found it very touching. Please pray for our soldiers and other military personnel and their families every night. Regardless of the reason they were sent there, these men and women are the ones defending our freedom to debate their mission, and they deserve our support. The sooner they can come home, the better.

A Different Kind of Christmas Poem

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, and 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 thought, 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, right 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."
"So please, don't you worry, everything is alright."
"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 friend, 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 own life for my sister or brother."

"We 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, but he 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 alive or dead,
To know you remembered, we fought and we bled."
"It's payment enough, and with that we will trust,
That we mattered to you ... as you mattered to us."

-Author unknown


  • At 12/20/2005 11:18:00 PM, Blogger Mr. Toast said…

    What a beautiful poem, thanks for posting it.

    As an army vet, I think about our soldiers overseas everyday. I think that's where my disgust with Dubya comes from. I hope he has a wonderful Christmas; we all know he won't be thinking of "his" soldiers spending the holidays without their families.

    On a lighter note, my first year in the military I was in Saudi for Christmas. The other soldiers in my unit were my family and I was theirs. We were there for each other and it took some of the heartache out of the holidays. We tried to celebrate as if we were with our own families.

    So, anyway, Happy Holidays!!! Say a prayer for our soldiers.

  • At 12/21/2005 09:18:00 AM, Blogger Susan said…

    Brought a tear to my eye, so very true, I don't forward a lot of things to others but when I read this I knew it was something I wanted to share.

    Thanks for sharing it and I hope you have a wonderful holiday, despite your anxiety of the season.


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