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 site did I see,
No tinsel, no presents, not even a tree,
No stockings by the mantle, Just boots filled with sand,
On the wall hung pictures of far distance 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 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.
The solider lay sleeping, silent, alone,
Curled up in this, His one bedroom home.
The face was so gentle, the room in such disorder
Not how I pictured a United States Solider.
Was this the War Hero of whom I’d just read?
Curled up on a poncho, the floor for a bed?
His head was clean shaven, his weathered face tan,
I soon understood this was more than a man.
I realized the families that I saw this night
Owed they’re lives to these soldiers who were willing to fight.
Soon round the world the children would play
And grownups celebrate a bright Christmas day.
They enjoyed freedom each month of the year,
Because of these 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
Dropped to my knees and started to cry.
The Soldier awakened and I hear a rough voice,
“Santa don’t cry, this is my life my choice:
I fight for freedom, I don’t ask for more
My life is my god, my country my Corps.”
The Solider rolled over and soon drifted to sleep
I couldn’t control it I started to weep.
I kept watch for hours. So silent and still
And we both shivered from the cold nights chill.
I took off my jacket, the one made of red,
And I covered this Soldier from his toes to his head.
And I put on his T-shirt of gray and black,
With an eagle and an Army patch embroidered on back.
And although it barely fit me, I began to swell with pride,
And for a shining moment, I was United States Army deep inside.
I didn’t want to leave on that cold dark night,
This guardian of honor, so willing to fight.
Then the Solider rolled over with a voice soft and pure,
Whispered, “Carry on Santa, Christmas Day is Secure”
One look at my watch and I knew he was right
Merry Christmas my friend and to all a good night.