Seriously Speaking - December 2005
During the holidays is a time that we all enjoy fellowship with friends and loved
ones. This is especially the time of
the year that we need to think and pray for our military both at home and abroad and
their families. This poem refers to the
Marines, but it is equally as applicable to all of our troops.
A SOLDIER’S NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS
the night before Christmas, he lived all alone,
one-bedroom house made of plaster and stone.
come down the chimney, with presents to give
to see just who in this home did live.
looked all about, a strange sight I did see,
no presents, not even a tree.
by the fire, just boots filled with sand.
wall hung pictures of a far distant land.
medal and badges, awards of all kind,
thought soon came to my mind.
this house was different, unlike any I’d seen.
was the home of a U.S. Marine.
heard stories about them, I had to see more,
waked down the hall and pushed open the door.
there he lay sleeping, silent, alone,
up on the floor in his one-bedroom home.
so gentle, his face so serene,
how I pictured a U.S. Marine.
this the hero, of whom I’d just read?
up in his poncho, a floor for his bed?
head was clean-shaven, his weathered face tan.
understood, this was more than a man.
I realized the families that I saw that night,
their lives to these men, who were willing to fight.
around the Nation, the children would play,
grown-ups would celebrate on a bright Christmas day.
all enjoyed freedom, each month and all year,
of Marines like this one lying here.
help wonder how many lay alone,
cold Christmas Eve, in a land far from home.
the very thought brought a tear to my eye.
to my knees and I started to cry.
have awoken, for I heard a rough voice,
don’t cry, this life is my choice
for freedom, I don’t ask for more.
is my God, my country, my Corps.”
that he rolled over, drifted off into sleep,
control it, I continued to weep.
him for hours, so silent and still.
he shivered from the cold night’s chill.
took off my jacket, the one made of red,
covered this Marine from his toes to his head.
I put on his T-shirt of scarlet and gold,
an eagle, globe and anchor emblazoned so bold.
although it barely fit me, I began to swell with pride.
for one shining moment, I was Marine Corps deep inside.
want to leave him so quiet in the night,
guardian of honor so willing to fight.
half asleep he rolled over, and in a voice clean and pure,
“Carry on, Santa, it’s Christmas Day, alls secure.”
look at my watch and I knew he was right,
Christmas my friend, Semper Fi and goodnight.
WEB SITE ANNOUNCED
You don’t have to look too far to know of someone
deployed overseas, perhaps a member of your own family, or the family of a co-worker
or friend. Let’s not forget them this
holiday season. After 9/11 the Department
of Defense has placed a moratorium on mail addressed to “Any Service Member.” In
the past, this was a way for people to share their thoughts with and give support
to our men and women in the service. These
letter-writing campaigns have always been a morale booster, however recent mail-related
attacks have resulted in additional precautions and the safety of service members
is paramount. The DoD has setup a website
to support our military personnel, just click on www.emailourmilitary.com and
share your thoughts and support to our men and women abroad.
THE SILENT RANKS
no uniforms, no blues or Army greens.
I am in the military in the ranks rarely seen.
no rank upon my shoulders. Salutes I
do not give.
the military world is the place where I live.
not in the chain of command, orders I do not get.
my husband is the one who does, this I cannot forget.
not the one who fires the weapon, who puts my life on the line.
my job is just as tough. I’m the one
that’s left behind.
is a patriot, a brave and prideful man
the call to serve his country not all can understand.
the lines I see the things needed to keep this country free.
makes the sacrifice, but so do our kids and me.
the man I married. Soldiering is his
I stand among the silent ranks known as the Military Wife.
THE TRUE SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS – “THE TOOTHLESS
Even if you don’t celebrate Christmas, this story is one that demonstrates
the simple goodness that should be a part of all our lives, wherever we live and whatever
faith we observe.
doing some last minute Christmas shopping in a toy store and decided to look at Barbie
dolls for my nieces. A nicely dressed
little girl was excitedly looking through the Barbie dolls as well, with a roll of
money clamped tightly in her little hand. When
she came upon a Barbie she liked, she would turn and ask her father if she had enough
money to buy it.
said “yes,” but she would keep looking and keep going through their ritual of “do
I have enough?” As she was looking, a
little boy wandered in across the aisle and started sorting through the Pokemon toys. He
was dressed neatly, but in clothes that were obviously rather worn, and wearing a
jacket that was probably a couple of sizes too small. He
too had money in his hand, but it looked to be no more than five dollars or so at
the most. He was with his father as well,
and kept picking up the Pokemon video toys. Each
time he picked one up and looked at his father, his father shook his head, “No.”
little girl had apparently chosen her Barbie, a beautifully dressed, glamorous doll
that would have been the envy of every little girl on the block. However,
she had stopped and was watching the interchange between the little boy and his father. Rather
dejectedly, the boy had given up on the video games and chosen what looked like a
book of stickers instead. He and his
father then started walking through another aisle of the store.
little girl put her Barbie back on the shelf, and ran over to the Pokemon games. After
speaking with her father, she excitedly picked up one that was lying on top of the
other toys, and raced toward the checkout. I
picked up my purchase and got in line behind them. Then,
much to the little girl’s obvious delight, the little boy and his father got in line
the toy was paid for and bagged, the little girl handed it back to the cashier and
whispered something in her ear. The cashier
smiled and put the package under the counter.
for my purchases and was rearranging things in my purse when the little boy came up
to the cashier. The cashier rang up his
purchases and then said, “Congratulations, you are my hundredth customer today, and
you win a prize!” with that, she handed the little boy the Pokemon game, and he could
only stare in disbelief. It was, he said,
exactly what he had wanted!
little girl and her father had been standing at the doorway during all of this, and
I saw the biggest, prettiest, toothless grin on that little girl that I have ever
seen in my life. Then they walked out
the door, and I followed close behind them. As
I walked back to my car in amazement over what I had just witnessed, I heard the father
ask his daughter why she had done that. I’ll
never forget what she said to him.
didn’t Nana and PawPaw want me to buy something that would make me happy?”
“Of course they did, honey.”
that, she giggled and started skipping toward their car. Her
toothless grin said it all Apparently, she had decided on the answer to her own question
of, “Do I have enough?”
very privileged to have witnessed the true spirit of Christmas in that toy store,
in the form of a little girl who understands more about the reason for the season
than most adults I know!