Santa and the Soldier

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Originally posted 2015-12-21

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Two years ago I was given a notecard with a version of this. I went looking for the original but found this. I'll post it now.

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 sobering 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,
and I had to see more
So I walked down the hall
and pushed open the door.
And there he lay sleeping
silent and alone,
Curled up on the floor
in this 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,
the 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,
children would play,
And grownups would celebrate
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,
no more can be asked,
my life is duty, honor and comrades."

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!

I used to spend my time in the virtual world Secondlife. I still am a queen within the Vampiric nations of Bloodlines and Netherworld. A counterpart in another clan sent me a notecard of the original poem. I found this version and liked it so much I am posting it here. here is my own addition.

During this time many glasses shall we raise,
Let us not forget those who served when we offer praise.
Those safely home and those that still fight,
Those in hospitals and those that didn't see the next day's light.
On their own feet or seated in chairs,
heads still high regardless of stares.
There are no words to be spoken aloud,
That will express that we are so proud.
Only a handshake and salute
are all we can really give
to our brothers and sisters that fought so hard
for all of us to live.

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