Dedicated to All Military Personnel

Whether you are in the States or abroad ~ may you know that you are in our prayers at this holiday time ~ and always ~ that you be safe and return home soon! Thank you for serving in the military of the United States of America.

 

THE SOLDIERS NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS

By Major Bruce W. Lovely

 

(With Apologies to Clement Moore Who First Wrote the Story for His Children in 1822 also credit given to M/Sgt Noah Brazos Ross, RA18033195, a USArmy 18th Field Artillery survivor of Utah Beach, France, Luxembourg, Belgium, Battle for the Ardennes, Deutschland wrote "Daddy's Christmas" (Soldier's Christmas)" as a Bonita, Montague County, Texas, high school exercise in 1937)

 

THE SOLDIERS NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS

 

Twas the night before Christmas, he lived all alone,
In a one bedroom house made of plaster & 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, not even a tree.
No stocking by the fire, just boots filled with sand,
On the wall hung pictures of far distant lands.

With medals and badges, awards of all kind
A sober thought came through my mind.
For this house was different, so dark and dreary,
I knew I had found the home of a soldier, once I could see clearly.

I heard stories about them, I had to see more
So I walked down the hall and pushed open the door.
And there he lay sleeping silent alone,
Curled up on the floor in his one bedroom home.

His face so gentle, his room in such disorder,
Not how I pictured a United States soldier.
Was this the hero of whom I'd just read?
Curled up in his poncho, a floor for his bed?

His head was clean shaven, his weathered face tan,
I soon understood this was more than a man.
For I realized the families that I saw that night
Owed their lives to these men who were willing to fight.

Soon `round the world, the children would play,
And grownups would celebrate on a bright Christmas day.
They all enjoyed freedom each month of the year,
Because of soldiers like this one lying here.

I couldn´t help wonder how many lay alone
On a cold Christmas Eve in a land far from home.
Just 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."

With that he rolled over and drifted off into sleep,
I couldn´t control it, I continued to weep.
I watched him for hours, so silent and still,
I noticed he shivered from the cold night´s chill.

So I took off my jacket, the one made of red,
And I covered this Soldier from his toes to his head.
And I put on his T-shirt of gray and black,
With an eagle and an Army patch embroidered on back.

And although it barely fit me, I began to swell with pride,
And for a shining moment, I was United States Army deep inside.
I didn´t want to leave him on that cold dark night,
This guardian of honor so willing to fight.

Then the soldier rolled over, whispered with a voice so clean and pure,
"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!

I wrote this poem for Christmas Eve 1993 while assigned to US Forces Korea - Lt Col Bruce Lovely, USAF (Printed in the Fort Leavenworth Lamp, 1995)

 

Letter from a Soldier

Dear Sir, 

I am one of America's soldiers who received a copy of "A Soldier's Christmas" over the internet, and I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for giving some of my friends and family an opportune way to say 'thanks.' It meant a lot to me. 

I have not been stationed in the US since 1995, and the nature of my job will keep me overseas throughout my career. Although I am not always viewed as that soldier with "dusty boots," I know all too well what it is like to be away from home for so long -- especially during the holidays. 

I would like, however, to take this opportunity to thank you, and America, for being the fine, grand, noble Nation that makes each and every one of us out here serving in the military extremely proud of the country and the people we protect. 

You don't necessarily have to pray for us soldiers, as we have chosen this life....and we will sacrifice our life for OUR people and OUR country. No, do not pray for us this holiday season.....Pray for OUR Nation and Her people......for only then will the life we 'chose' be worthwhile. 

Yes, I do pray for peace on Earth...always. But, "there will be wars, and rumors of wars," so, in the meantime; maybe, just maybe, this year you can put out a suggestion to OUR American people......  We tend to fly our flag on 4th of July, we tend to fly our flag on Veteran's Day......maybe this year, through your web-site, you could maybe "ask" the American people to put a small American Flag on their Christmas Tree, amongst their ornaments, (or within their own religious ceremony/custom) just to "remember."

A small reminder that "we" are free to celebrate whatever holiday, however we please, because of that flag and what She represents.  Sir, I have volunteered to protect ALL Americans... Christian, Jewish, Agnostic, even Atheist.... it is my proud honor to do so.... and all I ask is that maybe, during this "holiday" season (whether one believes in it or not) is your help in asking "America" to wave Her flag in Unity and be thankful for our Grand Nation. It would mean a lot to us out here, wherever we are...... 

"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 and my corps."
  and with all due respects to the Major, I add..... 

America, my country-men,
  Our flag is our life.....
  We've accepted your ancestors
  Through struggle, through strife...
  We've come a long way,
  Yes, a long way to go.... 
But we're out here defending,
  The life that you know. 

What you believe,
  Is not my concern,
  I carry my weapon.....
  American learns....
  I'm proud to serve you,
  Wherever I'm sent,
  For you are Americans...
  From Allah to Lent.... 

And so my dear county-men,
  I ask of you this...
  Display Our flag,
  And remember our bliss....
  For I am out "here"
  On this Christmas Day....
  And I want you proud...
  LONG MAY SHE WAVE..... 

Thank you,
  from a service member.....

 

Belleau Wood

Oh, the snowflakes fell in silence
  Over Belleau Wood that night
  For a Christmas truce had been declared
  By both sides of the fight 

As we lay there in our trenches
The silence broke in two
  By a German soldier singing
  A song that we all knew

Though I did not know the language
  The song was "Silent Night"
  Then I heard my buddy whisper,
  "All is calm and all is bright" 

Then the fear and doubt surrounded me
  "Cause I'd die if I was wrong
  But I stood up in my trench
  And I began to sing along

Then across the frozen battlefield
  Anothers voice joined in
Until one by one each man became
A singer of the hymn

Then I thought that I was dreaming
For right there in my sight
  Stood the German soldier
'Neath the falling flakes of white 

And he raised his hand and smiled at me
  As if he seemed to say
  Here's hoping we both live
  To see us find a better way

Then the devil's clock struck midnight
  And the skies lit up again
  And the battlefield where heaven stood
  Was blown to hell again

But for just one fleeting moment
  The answer seemed so clear
  Heaven's not beyond the clouds
It's just beyond the fear

No, heaven's not beyond the clouds
It's for us to find it here

~ from the Garth Brooks CD "Seven" - Belleau Wood

 

Slightly Modified For Use on Jack's Joint

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