Snagged from Kick-Ass Sue's blog:
This poem was written by a British soldier stationed overseas on peacekeeping duties. The following is the soldier's request -
"Please would you do me the kind favour of sending this to as many people as you can. Christmas will be coming soon and much credit is due to our servicemen and women for our being able to celebrate these festivities."
Happy to do it, soldier!
It's Christmas day, "All is secure"!
T'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 small 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 mantle just boots filled with sand
on the wall hung pictures of a far distant land.
With medals and badges, awards of all kinds.
then a sober thought came into my mind.
For this house was different, it was dark and dreary,
t'was 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 disorder
not how I pictured a lone soldier...
Was this the hero of whom I'd just read,
curled up on a poncho, the floor for a bed?
I realised the families that I saw this night
owed their lives to these soldiers, who were willing to fight.
And soon round the world the children would play
and grown ups would celebrate a bright Christmas day.
They all enjoy freedom each month of the year
because of the soldiers, like the one lying here.
I couldn't help but wonder, how many 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, 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 drifted to sleep.
I couldn't control it, I continued to weep.
I kept watch for hours, so silent and still
and we both sat and shivered from the cold nights chill.
I didn't want to leave, on that cold dark night,
the guardian of honour, so willing to fight...
then the soldier rolled over with a voice soft and pure
whispered "Carry on Santa, Christmas day is secure"
One look at my watch and I knew he was right
"Merry Christmas my friend - and to all a good night!"
Our thoughts are also with the families of those soldiers who will serving abroad this Christmas.