SlagleRock's Slaughterhouse
Don't be a fool and die for your country. Let the other sonofabitch die for his.
-- General George S. Patton

December 15, 2004

Twas The Night Before Christmas

Have the tissues ready...

Twas 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 thought 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,
And 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 gray and black,
With an eagle and an Army patch embroidered on back.

And although it barely fit me, I began to swell with pride,
And for a shining moment, I was United States 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!

There are several different versions of this poem. The above version comes from this page on the IWVPA site. It appears to be a faithful reproduction of this Leatherneck Magazine version, which Snopes is convinced is the original version. Thanks go out to Bill Faith of A Small Town Veteran for the links.

I have heard that it was written by an Army Ranger and "stolen" by the Marines. Some say it was in fact written by A Marine stationed in Okinawa Japan. The original email included this request from the Marine. I think it is reasonable . . . PLEASE. Would you do me a thoughtful favor of sending this poem 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.

Regardless of whom wrote this poem or which branch of service they serve in, it is a great representation of the American fighting men and women of all branches of service. There are Airman, Soldiers, Sailors and Marines all serving in harms way. People from all branches have been shot at, attacked by mortar and shelled at random with everything from shoulder fired weapons to large artillery.

Please remember these brave men and woman. And when you are enjoying your holidays with your family, remember the hundreds of thousands of Airman, Soldiers, Sailors and Marines that are thousands of miles away from home and who will miss "another" holiday or special event with their families.

Support the troops!!

SlagleRock Out!

Posted by SlagleRock at December 15, 2004 07:00 AM

It's a great poem regardless of who authored it. Thanks for posting it.

Posted by: Jack at December 15, 2004 07:28 PM

I've seen it before referencing SF. I never fails to bring a tear to my eye. God Bless them everyone!!!

Posted by: Theresa at December 16, 2004 10:45 AM

Very good poem, thanks for posting it. This poem is sure to make people say an extra prayer tonight for the all of the soldiers.

Posted by: KareBare at December 23, 2004 12:44 PM

Very nice comments you guys have here, congratulations and thanks to allowing my post...

Posted by: Phendimetrazine at April 15, 2005 02:10 PM
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