Merry Christmas everyone and God Bless our troops!
T'was 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,
An to see whom in this house, so small, did live.
As I looked all around, a strange sight did I see,
No tinsel, no presents, not even a tree.
No stocking by the fire, just boots full of sand,
On the wall hung pictures of a far away land.
With medals and badges, awards of all kinds,
A sobering thought soon came to my mind.
For this house was different, unlike any I'd seen.
This was the house of a U. S. Marine.
I'd heard stories about them, so I had to see more,
I walked down the hallway and pushed open the door.
And there he lay sleeping, silent, alone.
Curled up on the floor of his one bedroom home.
He seemed so gentle, his face so serene,
Not how I pictured a U. S. Marine.
Was this the hero of whom I'd often read?
Curled up on his poncho, a floor for his bed?
His head was clean shaven, his face weathered tan.
I soon understood this was more than a man.
For I realized families that I had seen just that night,
Owed their lives to these men so willing to fight.
Soon around the nation the children would play,
And grown ups would celebrate a bright Christmas day.
They enjoyed freedom each day and all the year
Because of Marines like the one lying here.
I couldn't help but wonder how many lay alone,
On a cold Christmas Eve in a land far from home.
Just the very thought brought a tear to my eye,
I dropped to my knees and I started to cry.
He must have awakened, for I heard a rough voice,
"Santa, don't cry. This is my choice,
I fight for freedom, I don't ask for more,
My life is my God, my country, my Corps."
With that he rolled over and dove back to sleep,
I couldn't control it, I continued to weep.
I watched over him for hours, So silent, So Still
I noticed he shivered from the cold night's chill.
So I took off my jacket, the one made of red,
To cover this Marine from his toes to his head.
Then I put on his tee-shirt of scarlet and gold,
With the Eagle, Globe and Anchor emblazoned so bold.
Although it barely fit me, I began to swell with pride,
For one shining moment I was a Marine deep inside.
I didn't want to leave him, so quiet in the night,
This guardian of honor, so willing to fight,
Half asleep he rolled over and said, in a voice so clean and pure,
"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 . . . Semper Fi and good night!