Where Should Our Thoughts, Our Thanks Be On This Christmas Eve?

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Political correctness has taken over our country, has supplanted most of what our forefathers fought for in their blood sacrifice that we might have freedom in this, our country, their new land. We are the ultimate benefactees of that freedom, and should remember that Thanksgiving should not just be celebrated in November.

Christmas Eve is the perfect time to remember, and our fighting troops should be remembered along with “He who gave all, that we might live forever”…

A Vietnam veteran buddy of mine sent me one of those emails that are passed down and forwarded for years by hundreds if not thousands of people, across every country in the world. This poem started out in that fashion, who knows when.

The poem in it’s original condition was a bit rough when I got it, but well meaning. It was in all caps, and lacked the disciplined cadence of flow that soldiers are accustomed to marching to, so I felt compelled to do a complete re-write, and add some of my own heart, soul and feelings into it.

There is no title, but here it is, the way I finished it:

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 who it was in this small home did live.

I looked all about, a strange sight did I see,
… no tinsel, no presents, not even a tree.

No stocking by mantle, just boots filled with sand,
… on the wall there hung pictures of far distant lands.

With medals and badges, awards of all kinds,
… A sobering thought did drift through my mind.

For this house it was different, so dark and so 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 disorder,
… twas 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 I saw on this night,
… owed their lives to these soldiers so willing to fight.

Soon ’round the world, children would play,
… and grownups would welcome a bright Christmas day.

They all enjoyed freedom each month of the year,
… because of the soldiers, like him, lying here.

I couldn’t help thinking of those all alone,
… on a cold Christmas eve in a land far from home.

The thought of it brought a small tear to my eye,
… I dropped to my knees and I started to cry.

The soldier awakened, I heard a rough voice:
… “Santa, don’t cry, this life is my choice”.

“I fight for our freedom, I don’t ask for more,
… my life is my God, it’s my country, my Corps”.

The soldier rolled over and drifted to sleep,
… I couldn’t control it… continued to weep.

I kept watch for hours, so silent and still
… as we both slowly shivered from cold nightly chill.

I could not bear to leave on that cold lonely night,
… this guardian of honor so willing to fight.

Then the soldier rolled over, with a voice soft and pure,
… whispered: “Carry on Santa, all is secure”.

One look at my watch, and I knew he was right…

Merry Christmas my friend, and to all a good night!

There’s more to this story, click to the next page if you like.

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