A Christmas Poem *
Semper Fi
setstats
WAS 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
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 CORPS."

THE SOLDIER ROLLED OVER  AND SOON 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 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."


Information Technology
402-595-5311  
nancy.greene@conagrafoods.com