Tuesday, December 24, 2013

From the Mail Bag

While researching CC Moore's "A Visit From St. Nicholas" I came across some versions I hadn't seen before, some which I sent off to various friends that I thought might find them interesting...

I got one back (thanks RC!) that I don't remember reading before. Based on it's vintage, some of you might have seen it before... If not- please read and take to heart the message.
Merry Christmas, My Friend
(a perennial military favorite)

Twas 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 home did live.

I looked all about, a strange sight did I see,
No music, no presents, not even a tree.

No stocking by mantle, just boots filled with sand,
And on the wall 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 such disorder,
Not how I pictured a United States soldier.

Was this the hero of whom I’d just read?
Curled up on a poncho, the floor for a bed?

I couldn’t help wonder how many lay 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 and I heard a tough 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.

The the soldier rolled over, with a voice soft and pure,
Whispered, “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.”
                                   - Lance Corporal James M.Schmidt, 1998



Old NFO said...

Yep, one of my favorites... Merry Christmas to you and yours! And best wishes for 2014!

Midwest Chick said...

Merry Christmas to you too! Hope to see you soon! All the best for the New Year!

Brigid said...


Have a very Merry Christmas, and we hope you'll be up this way again soon.

The Big Guy said...

Thanks y'all.
Hope to see you in 2014!