‘Twas the night before Christmas, and 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 whom in this home did live.
I looked all about and a strange sight did I 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
A sober thought came to my mind
For this house was different, dark and dreary
It was the house of a soldier, I now 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 United States soldier.
Was this the hero of whom I had read?
Curled up on a poncho, the floor for a bed?
I realized the families I saw on this night
Owed their lives to this soldier who was willing to fight.
Soon ‘round the world the children would play
And grown-ups would celebrate a bright Christmas day.
They all enjoyed freedom, each month of the year
Because of the soldiers like the one laying here.
I couldn’t help wonder how many lay alone
On a cold Christmas Eve in a land from home.
The very thought brought a tear to my eye
And 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 drifted to sleep
And I couldn’t control it, I started to weep.
I kept watch for hours, so silent and still
And we both shivered from the cold night’s chill.
I didn’t want to leave on that cold, dark night
This Guardian of Honor so willing to fight.
The soldier rolled over and 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.
- Author Unknown -