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'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.
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, 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."

Written by Lt. Col. Bruce Lovely
Christmas Eve 1993

This poem was written by a Marine stationed in Okinawa Japan.
The following is his request. I think it is reasonable.....

PLEASE. Would you do me the kind favor of sending this to as many people as you can? Christmas will be coming soon and some credit is due to our U.S. service men and women for our being able to celebrate these festivities.

This year more than ever, we need remember the brave men, and women who are risking their very lives to keep our nation safe.

While you celebrate this joyous season, please take a moment to say a prayer for our sons, and daughters, brothers, and sisters on the other side of the world. They are far from home this Christmas season, far from the people who love them.

So that we may remain Free.

Let's try in this small way to pay a tiny bit of what we owe. Make people stop and think of our heroes, living and dead, who sacrificed themselves for us. Please, do your small part to plant this small seed.

If You are a Soldier, Sailor, Airman, or Marine

Thank You for your service!
and

Merry Christmas!

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Gladwin, MI

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