Thursday, December 18, 2008

A Salute To Our Soldiers, Long But Worth It!

A DIFFERENT CHRISTMAS POEM

The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic at rest.
Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
Transforming the yard to a winter delight.

The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.
My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.
In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.

The sound wasn't loud, and it wasn't too near,
But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear.
Perhaps just a cough, I didn't quite know, Then the
sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.
My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door just to see who was near.

Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.
A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.

'What are you doing?' I asked without fear,
'Come in this moment, it's freezing out here!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve.'
For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts.

To the window that danced with a warm fire's light.
Then he sighed and said 'It's really alright
I'm out here by choice, I'm here every night.'
'It's my duty to stand at the front of the line,
That separates you from the darkest of times.

No one had to ask or beg or implore me,
I'm proud to stand here like my fathers before me.
My Gramps died at Pearl Harbor on a day in December,
Then he sighed, 'That's a Christmas Gram always remembers.'
My dad stood his watch in the jungles of 'Nam'
And now it is my turn and so, here I am.

I've not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures, he's sure got her smile.
Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
The red, white, and blue. . . American flag.
I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home.

I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.
I can carry the weight of killing another,
Or lay down my life with my sister and brother. . .
Who stand at the front against any and all,
To ensure for all time that his flag will not fall.'

'So go back inside,' he said, 'harbor no fright,
Your family is waiting and I'll be alright.'
'But isn't there something I can do, at the least,
Give you money,' I asked 'or prepare you a feast?
It seems all too little for all that you've done,
For being away from your wife and your son.'

Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
'just tell us you love us, and never forget.
To fight for our rights back home while we're gone,
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.
For when we come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled.
Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us.'

LCDR Jeff Giles, SC, USN - 30th Naval Construction Regiment - OIC, Logistics Cell One, Al Taqqadum, Iraq

This is what was asked of me: "PLEASE, would you do me the kind favor of sending this story 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. Let's try in this small way to pay a tiny bit of what we owe. Make people stop and think of our heroes, living and dead, who sacrificed themselves for us."

I am proud to post this and hope you will read it, share it, and say a prayer for our soldiers this Christmas.

6 comments:

Nikki said...

I love this poem. :)

Thanks for the comment you left on my site :). I'm trying to get more in the Christmas spirit, but it's kind of hard to do when it's 70 degrees outside LOL. But it's supposed to cool off so maybe it'll feel a little more like Christmas :)
Have a blessed Christmas!

Melissa B. said...

Hey there, you Superior Scribbler, you! First of all, I'm not "spamming" you; I promise! Second of all, I'd like to introduce myself: I'm Melissa B., The Scholastic Scribe, & I'm the "Original" Superior Scribbler! Third thing on my mind: I've been nominated for a pretty prestigious blog award; I'd greatly appreciate your vote, so if you click on over to my place, you'll see the info. It's an annual award from EduBlog, and I'm up for Best Individual Blog. And 4th thing on today's agenda: I've got a cute "contest," of sorts, going on at my place every Sunday. Please come by this Sunday for the Silly Sunday Sweepstakes. And, thanks for your support!

Kerry said...

What a beautiful poem and a powerful reminder to think of our soldiers so far away this Christmas and their families who must miss them so. Kerry

Mojo said...

My prayer for our soldiers for Christmas and every day is that they come home alive and well.

And soon.

Maureen Hayes said...

Mojo,

I want our soldiers home soon and safely as well. I also want them to get the respect they deserve for doing a tough job with little thanks!

Thanks for your comment and I wish you a very happy holiday!

Cats said...

Nice poem. Wishing you all the best for the Christmas and New Year ahead. Enjoy the holidays :)