12-23-2013 Military Christmas Salute   5 comments

Since I’ll be taking a few days off from blogging to enjoy the family Christmas doings I thought something important needed to be discussed. Being a former soldier, the holidays have much more meaning than just just gifts, Christmas trees, and family traditions.  I’m all too familiar with  that lonely feeling when you’re away from home on Christmas for the first time and the dull ache it leaves in your chest.  There’s regular homesickness of course but being separated from your family, friends and comfortable surroundings on Christmas is a different kind of “hurt”.  I always think of our service people spread around the globe and I remember them everyday but even more so at this time of the year.  Here is a heartfelt poem from an unknown serviceman I received some years ago from a friend. It struck home with me then and it still does to this day.   It may have been a different war or different time but the feelings expressed remain the same.  Enjoy this and think of them tonight and never forget . . . .

Soldier On Watch

I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.

My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,

my daughter beside me, angelic in rest.

Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,

Transforming the yard to a winter delight.

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 eye 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 here this moment, it’s freezing out there!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your arm,
you should be at home, this cold could do harm!”

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 he said “Its really all right,

I’m out here by choice. I’m here every night”
“Its 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 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… the 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 sisters and brothers
who stand at the front against any and all,
to insure for all time that this flag will not fall.”

“So go back inside,” he said, “harbor no fright
Your family is waiting and I’ll be all right.”
“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 at 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.

ONE SHOPPING DAY LEFT

HAVE A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS WITH YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS

EVERYUSELESSTHING WILL BE BACK ON 12/26/2013

Advertisements

5 responses to “12-23-2013 Military Christmas Salute

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Merry Christmas! nice poem

  2. Such a beautiful poem, glad you shared this.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: