The Night Before Christmas
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 just who in this house did live?
I looked all about, a strange sight did I see,
No tinsel, no presents, not even a tree.
No stockings by the mantle, just boots filled with sand, and on the wall pictures of distant lands.
With medals and badges, awards of all kinds,
A sobering thought came to my mind.
For this house was different, so dark, and so dreary
The home of a soldier, now I could see clearly.
The solder lay sleeping, silent, alone
Curled up on the floor in this one room bedroom home
The face was so gentle, the such disorder, not how I picture a United States soldier.
Was this hers of whom I 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, they would play, and grown ups would celebrate a bright Christmas Day.
They all enjoyed freedom each month of the year,
Because of the soldiers, like the one laying here.
I couldn't help wonder how many lay alone on a cold Christmas eve on a land far from home
The very thought brought a tear to my eye, I dropped on my knee and started to cry.
The soldier awakened and I heard a rough voice
"Santa don't cry, this life is a choice.
"I fight for freedom, I don't ask for more, my life is my God, my country, my corps."
The solder rolled over and soon drifted to sleep, I couldn't control it, I continued to weep
And kept watch for hours, so silent and still and we both shivered from the cold evening'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.
By Lance Corporal James M. Schmidt
I received this in a label package from DIsabled American Veterans for Christmas.
To donate to the DIsabled American Veterans, send to DAV, P.O. Box 14301, Cincinnati, OH 45250-0301; or www.dav.org.
Connie S. Harris