For all those who efforts reflect a widening world of PEACE:
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,
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,
and on the wall hung pictures of faraway lands.
With medals and badges, awards of all kinds,
a sobering thought had come through my mind.
For ‘though this was a house, different 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 disorder –
not how I pictured, a true American 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 on 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 ‘lone
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 our 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 down from the cold winter’s chill.
I did not want to leave on that cold and dark night,
this guardian of honor, so willing to fight.
Then the soldier rolled over with a voice soft and pure:
“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.”
~written by a peacekeeping soldier stationed overseas