Soldier's Christmas
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Poem: The Soldier's Christmas

 

 

 

bulletSummary of eRumor:
A poem said to have been written by a soldier stationed in Okinawa, Japan.  It describes a visit by Santa to a simple home occupied by a solider.
bulletThe Truth:
This poem has been popular on the Internet for several years and occasionally makes a fresh appearance when there is a fresh attitude of support for the armed forces.

There are several versions and several different names listed with them as author.

The name most often associated with the poem is is that of Air Force Lt. Col Bruce W. Lovely. He says that he wrote it in 1993 while stationed In Korea.

An article on SpecialOperations.com says the poem was actually written by Corporal James M. Schmidt, described as a former U.S. Marine Scout-sniper and that is was published in LEATHERNECK MAGAZINE in December of 1991, two years before Lt. Col Lovely claimes to have written it.

Last updated 11/29/03
A real example of the story as it has been circulated:

   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,
   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 HOUSE 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 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."
  
   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. service men 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.
  
 

 


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