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3315Re: Merry Christmas Marine

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  • Larry Lozon
    Dec 1, 1999
      Dear List: Although not our time period,
      I find this poem, who some may have rec'd
      a dozen times quite moving, enjoy ......

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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 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 MARINE,
      ONCE I COULD SEE CLEARLY.

      THE MARINE 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 MARINES
      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 MARINES,
      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."


      Written by a Marine stationed in Okinawa, Japan.