This Christmas, Take a Minute to “Thank A Soldier”

Well the season is in full swing.  We have the tree up, lights and ornaments, outdoor decorations, packages wrapped, and Christmas music is in the air!

Yes, that is correct, Christmas music.  As in Christmas.  Not Holiday music.  Who cares if it is not PC?  I don’t and since this is my blog, it is and always will be Christmas.

Oh, I welcome the celebrations of all religions and cultures.  Just don’t fool anyone and try to be cool.  Or be “sensitive to others”.  Bah Humbug and bull.  Long before the Grinch came along (and what did he steal?  a holiday? nope!) there were:

Christmas carols…Christmas trees…Christmas stockings…Christmas lights…Christmas cards…Christmas cookies…Christmas presents…Christmas ornaments…

Any questions?

So, I am sorry if I offended anyone, but get over it.  That is not my intent.

I just love Christmas.  Always have.  Many reasons to love it.  I love being with my family and loved ones.  I love preparing the Christmas (see, there it is again) dinner.  Sitting under the tree (Christmas) and looking at the lights and ornaments.  Watching others open their presents.  Pictures with Santa.  Celebrating our Savior’s birth.  Memories, good ones, barely faded with time.

But I know not everyone can say the same thing.  Many are not as fortunate.  I am sure there are many reasons.  They might not be with their family to share and make the memories.  Different city.  Different state.  Different country.

Email is a wonderful thing and a curse.  Again, for many reasons.  One of the nice things/curses is the “fwd”s you get from friends.  You know the jokes.  Stories.  The ones you must forward to 15 people or something will fall off of your body.  But once in a while you get one of those “fwd”s and it sticks.  Strikes a chord.  Speaks to your heart in a voice like Johnny Cash, or Moses…(I think they may sound alike.)

Here is one of those “fwd”s I received.  Cindy sent it to me.  And I was in just one of those moods.  I normally would not take your or my time to blog and copy a “fwd”.  This is an exception.  I think you will agree…

A Different Christmas Poem

The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.
Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
Transforming the yard to a winter delight.

 The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.
My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.
In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.

 The sound wasn’t loud, and it wasn’t too near,
But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear..
Perhaps just a cough, I didn’t quite know, Then the
sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.
My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door just to see who was near.

 Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.
A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.

 “What are you doing?” I asked without fear,
“Come in this moment, it’s freezing out here!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!”
For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts..

 To the window that danced with a warm fire’s light
Then he sighed and he said “It’s really all right,
I’m out here by choice. I’m here every night.”
“It’s my duty to stand at the front of the line,
That separates you from the darkest of times.

 No one had to ask or beg or implore me,
I’m proud to stand here like my fathers before me.
My Gramps died at ‘Pearl on a day in December,”
Then he sighed, “That’s a Christmas ‘Gram always remembers.”
My dad stood his watch in the jungles of ‘Nam’,
And now it is my turn and so, here I am.

 I’ve not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures, he’s sure got her smile.
Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
The red, white, and blue… an American flag.
I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home.

 I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.
I can carry the weight of killing another,
Or lay down my life with my sister and brother..
Who stand at the front against any and all,
To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall..”

 ”  So go back inside,” he said, “harbor no fright,
Your family is waiting and I’ll be all right.”
“But isn’t there something I can do, at the least,
“Give you money,” I asked, “or prepare you a feast?
It seems all too little for all that you’ve done,
For being away from your wife and your son.”

 Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
“Just tell us you love us, and never forget.
To fight for our rights back at home while we’re gone,
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.
For when we come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled.
Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us.”

So, this Christmas season, while we are celebrating with family…shopping…laughing…drinking…opening presents…build a fire in the fireplace…decorating the Christmas tree…and enjoying the aroma of those freshly baked Christmas cookies…

Thank a soldier.  Doesn’t matter.  Any of them.  One would be fine.  Two, okay.  Three or more would be outstanding.  Just thank them.  Buy them a Starbucks coffee.  A Coke.  Burger.  Or just say thank you.

You don’t have to agree with the politics or reasons they are doing what they are doing.  Many of them probably don’t agree with it themselves.  But thank them for their sacrifices.  So we can do what we do.

Thanks Al.  Thanks Adie.

Thank you this Christmas Season and thank you for each day you are away.

Now, it is your turn…go ahead and Thank a Soldier.