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 to 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 than 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 year,
Because of soldiers like this one lying here.
I couldn’t help wondering 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 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.”
With that, he rolled over and drifted off to sleep,
I couldn’t control it, I continued to weep.
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 in a voice so clean and pure,
“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!