Twas the night before Christmas he lived all alone, in a one-bedroom house made of plaster and stone. No stocking by the mantle, just boots filled with sand. On the wall hung a picture of a far distant land. With medals and badges, awards of all kinds, a sober thought came to my mind. I found the home of a hero, a United States soldier. Was this the hero of whom I just read? The soldier lay sleeping, 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 grown-ups 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 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.” I didn’t want to leave on that cold, dark night, this guardian of honor so willing to fight. Then 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.”
A Marine stationed in Okinawa Japan wrote this poem. He asked this of those who read it, “PLEASE, would you do me the kind favor of sending this to as many citizens as you can? Christmas will be coming soon and credit is due to our U.S. servicemen and women for our being able to celebrate this festivities”. Let’s try in this small way to pay a tiny bit of what we owe. Make people stop and think of our heroes, living and dead, who sacrificed themselves for us.