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Just an email I would like to share with everyone.

Subject: Fw: Christmas thoughts

Night Before Christmas 2001

'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, NOT EVEN A TREE.

NO STOCKING BY MANTLE, JUST BOOTS FILLED WITH SAND,
AND ON THE WALL PICTURES OF FAR DISTANT LANDS.

WITH MEDALS AND BADGES, AWARDS OF ALL KINDS,
A SOBERING THOUGHT CAME TO MY MIND.

FOR THIS HOUSE WAS DIFFERENT, SO DARK AND SO DREARY,
THE HOME OF A SOLDIER, NOW 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 SOON 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 EVENING'S CHILL.

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 ISSECURE."

ONE LOOK AT MY WATCH, AND I KNEW HE WAS RIGHT.
"MERRY CHRISTMAS MY FRIEND, AND TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT."

This poem was written by a Marine stationed in Okinawa, Japan.

The following is his request. I think it is reasonable. Please, would you do me the kind favor of sending this to as many people
as you can? Christmas will be coming soon and some credit is due to our U.S. servicemen and women for our being able to
celebrate these 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.

Please, do your small part to plant this small seed.




<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: 1NastyFordGT on 2001-12-01 01:22 ]</font>
 

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I hate to spoil a great poem, but this version is incorrect and has been getting to me as I see it circulate around the internet year after year. The first time I saw this was about 6 years ago. For starters, no Marine would ever call himself a soldier (no offense to Army folks, but that's just how it is), from the Commandant on down everyone is called a Marine. I'm very proud to have served in the Marines and do not like being called a soldier, just like a Gunnery Sergeant HATES being called a Sergeant. Anyway, there are actually several more versus that go with the poem that I will post later. Sorry if I've offended anyone but it's the Marine in me speaking out. :smile:
 

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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, not even a tree.
No stocking by the fire, just boots full of sand.
On the wall hung pictures of far distant lands.

With medals and badges, awards of all kind,
a sobering thought soon came through my mind.
For this home was different, unlike any I'd seen.
This was the home of a U.S. Marine.

I'd 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.

He seemed so gentle, his face so serene.
Not how I pictured a U.S. Marine.
Was this the hero, of whom I have read?
Curled up in his poncho, a floor for his bed?

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

Soon around the nation, the children would play,
and grown-ups would celebrate on a bright Christmas day.
They all enjoyed freedom, each month and all year,
because of Marines like this, sleeping on the floor right here.

I couldn't help wonder how many lay alone,
on a cold Christmas Eve, in a land far away from home.
Just the very thought brought a tear to my eye,
I dropped to my knees and I started to cry.

He must have awoken, for 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, my God, my country, my Corps."

With that he rolled over, drifted off into sleep.
I couldn't control it, I continued to weep.
I watched him for hours, so silent, so still.
I noticed he shivered from the cold night's chill.
So I took off my jacket, the one made of red,
and covered this Marine from his toes to his head.
Then I put on his t-shirt of scarlet and gold,
with the eagle, globe, and anchor emblazoned so bold.
And although it barely fit me, I began to swell with pride,
and for one shining moment, I was Marine Corps deep inside.

I didn't want to leave him so quiet in the night,
this guardian of honor so willing to fight.
But half asleep he rolled over, and a voice so clean and pure
said, "Carry on Santa, it's Christmas Day, all secure."
One look at my watch and I knew he was right.
Merry Christmas my friend, Semper Fi and good night.
 

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"no Marine would ever call himself a soldier (no offense to Army folks, but that's just how it is)"

No offense taken here. As a former soldier, and after my experience working with Marines, I wouldn’t like to be referred to as a jarhead, Oops I mean Marine either (no offence to you Marine guys, but that's just how it is) :smile:

_________________
FASTBULLITT
Bullitt1048 DHG

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: FASTBULLITT on 2001-12-01 01:54 ]</font>
 
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