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Posted By: on: 11/21/2000 01:04:28 EST
Subject: Our Veterans

Message Detail:

> > > 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."

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