A Christmas Soldier

A Christmas Soldier

 

‘Twas the night before Christmas,

He lived all alone,

In a one bedroom house made of

plaster and stone.

 

I came down the chimney

With presents to give,

I wanted to see

In this home who did live.

 

I looked all about,

A strange sight I did see,

No tinsel, no presents,

Not even a tree.

 

No stocking by the mantle,

Just boots filled with sand,

And on the wall there were 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 disorder,

This was not how I pictured

A United States soldier.

 

Who was this hero

Of whom I’d just read,

Curled up on a poncho,

The floor for a bed?

 

I realized 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.

 

That very thought

Brought tears to my eyes,

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,

And with a voice soft and pure

Whispered, “Carry on Santa,

All is secure.”

‑‑ author unknown

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