The Gift

Posted: December 8, 2013 by kibler in Hope, Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , ,

THE GIFT

By an unknown soldier stationed in Okinawa, Japan

T’was the night before Christmas      Image

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,

On the wall hung pictures

Of far distant lands.

With medals and badges,

Awards of all kinds,

A sober thought

Came through my mind.

For this was different,

It was dark and dreary,

I found the home of a soldier,

Once 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 night’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 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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