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Old 12-25-2006, 11:43 PM   #1
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Default I can't believe I forgot to post this....

“THE SOLDIERS NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS”
By Marine Lance Corporal James M. Schmidt


(With apologies to Clement Moore who first wrote this story for his children in 1822)

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 then 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 day,
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 solder 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’* 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’* 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!
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Old 12-25-2006, 11:48 PM   #2
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Crap. It figures.. I just found this.....

Quote:
The problem with touching poems on the Internet is that there is always somebody who thinks it could be more touching if we knew a little more about its origin. Unfortunately, the additional details are often incorrect, as is the case here.

The sentiment in this story is timeless and far-reaching. It enjoyed a sizable surge in popularity in 2001 as military action in Afghanistan began just prior to the holidays and continued to be a fast-forwarder in the 2002 and 2003 holiday seasons. In 2004, it'* appeal was bolstered by a spoken-word recording of it, set to holiday music and played on numerous radio stations nationwide.

Soon after the poem began circulating in 2001, Bruce Lovely, a major in the United States Air Force stepped forward to take credit. He claimed to have written it in 1993 while stationed in Korea. Unfortunately, Lovely'* claims have not held up to scrutiny.

The true origins of this ode go back to December 1991. It was written by Marine Lance Corporal James M. Schmidt and published in Leatherneck magazine. The e-mail version contains some changes from Schmidt'* original and Schmidt (or Lovely, for that matter) never requested that it be distributed via e-mail
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Old 12-26-2006, 12:15 AM   #3
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It still works.

Touching. The army posting this for us Marines.
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Old 12-26-2006, 12:17 AM   #4
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The poem specifically says "Soldier" though!!!
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Old 12-26-2006, 12:20 AM   #5
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As the son of a US Marine who served in Vietnam, it is touching. Thanks and Merry Christmas
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