Military Greetings - | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas


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 in Iraq  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 , 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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