Friday, December 10, 2010

Soldiers Night

Before Christmas

By Major Bruce W. Lovely, Clement Moore (1822), MSgt. Noah Brazos Ross

T'was the night before Christmas,

he lived all alone,

in a one bedroom house

made of plaster & 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 the fire,

just boots filled with sand,

on the wall hung pictures

of far distant lands

With medals and badges,

awards of all kind

a sober though came

through my mind.

For this house was different,

so dark and dreary,

I knew I had found the

home of a soldier,

once I could see clearly.

I heard stories about them;

I had to see more

so I walked down the hall

and pushed open the door.

And there he lay

sleeping, silent, alone,

curled up on the floor

in his one bedroom home.

His face so gentle,

his room in such disorder,

not how I pictured a

United States Soldier.

Was this the hero of

whom I'd just read?

Curled up in his poncho,

a floor for his bed?

His head was clean shaven,

his weathered face tan;

I soon understood this

was more than a man.

For I realized the families

that I saw that night

owed their lives to these men

who were willing to fight.

Soon 'round the world,

the children would play.

Grownups would celebrate

on a bright Christmas day.

They all enjoyed freedom

each month of the year,

because of soldiers like

this one lying here.

I couldn't help wonder

how many lay alone

on a cold Christmas Eve in

a land far from home.

Just 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."

With that he rolled over

and drifted off into sleep,

I couldn't control it,

I continued to weep.

I watched him for hours,

so silent and still,

I noticed he shivered

from the cold night's chill.

So I took off my jacket,

the one made of red,

and I covered this Soldier

from his toes to his head.

And I put on his T-shirt

of fray and black,

with an eagle and any Army

patch embroidered on back.

And although it barely fit me,

I began to swell with pride.

And for a shining moment,

I was US Army deep inside.

I didn't want to leave him

on that cold dark night,

this guardian of honor

so willing to fight.

Then the soldier rolled over,

whispered with a voice

so clean and pure,

"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!

From the Military Order of the Purple Heart Service Foundation