Friday, December 21, 2007

A Soldier's Silent Night

You can listen here.
'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 I did see,
no tinsel, no presents, net even a tree.
No stocking by mantle, just boots filled with sand,
on the wall hung pictures of far distant lands.
With medals and badges, awards of all kinds,
a sober thought came through my mind.
For this house was different, it was dark and dreary,
I found the home of a soldier, once 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 realized the families that I saw this night,
owed their lives to these soldiers who were willing to fight.
Soon round the world, the children would play,
and grownups would celebrate a bright Christmas day.
They all enjoyed freedom each month of the year,
because of the soldiers, like the one lying here.
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 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,
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 night'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.

How The Words to "A Soldier's Silent NIght" Came To Be Written

The poem's author, James M. Schmidt, was a Lance Corporal stationed in Washington, D.C., when he wrote the poem back in 1986. In Corporal Schmidt's own words (December, 2002):

"The true story is that while a Lance Corporal serving as Battalion Counter Sniper at the Marine Barracks 8th & I, Washington, D.C., under Commandant P.X. Kelly and Battalion Commander D.J. Myers (in 1986), I wrote this poem to hang on the door of the gym in the BEQ. When Colonel Myers came upon it, he read it and immediately had copies sent to each department at the Barracks and promptly dismissed the entire Battalion early for Christmas leave. The poem was placed that day in the Marine Corps Gazette, distributed worldwide and later submitted to Leatherneck Magazine."

Schmidt's original version, entitled "Merry Christmas, My Friend," was published in Leatherneck (Magazine of the Marines) in December, 1991.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Day of Infamy

With confidence in our armed forces -- with the unbounded determination of our people -- we will gain the inevitable triumph -- so help us God.

Franklin D. Roosevelt

And so we did. God bless our Troops and Vets as we remember this Day of Infamy.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

More Support our Troops Groups

This is a post from Freedom's Watch that provides a great list of places where you can send messages and packages of support to our beloved troops, including to our wounded heroes at military hospitals via E.D. Hill at Fox News.
Support the troops

There are countless ways to show support for our troops. Whether it’s volunteering at a local VA hospital, sending care packages, donating phone cards or airline miles, supporting charities that offer aid to our troops and their families, or just expressing your appreciation when you see them, our nation’s heroes deserve our gratitude and support. During this holiday season, we encourage you to find some time to show your support for our nation’s heroes and their families.

Here are just a few of the many nonprofit organizations that are sending care packages to the troops this holiday season:

In order to send a digital holiday card to the troops, you may visit CNN's Web site to create your personalized message. CNN will air selected cards on Headline News, please click here for more details.

You may also send holiday cards to the troops at various military hospitals by sending your greetings to E.D. Hill's Operation Holiday Thanks:

Operation Holiday Thanks
c/o E.D. Hill
Fox News Channel
1211 Sixth Avenue
17th Floor
New York, NY 10036

If you are looking for other ways to support our troops, please visit "America Supports You," a nationwide program launched by the Department of Defense that helps supporters like you connect with the troops. The "America Supports You" Web site lists hundreds of nonprofit organizations that are dedicated to supporting our military men and women:

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