|L to R: My daughter, son & husband at my son's |
graduation from Marine Corp Boot Camp, Nov. 2013
When I read this poem I immediately knew I had to share it here. It came to me from a friend of a friend of a friend, so I'm not sure who wrote it. But I have a feeling that the author would rather have our men & women of our military and their families remembered before s/he.
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
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.
A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
Alone in the dark,
"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!"
away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts,
Then he sighed and he said "It’s really all right,
I'm out here by choice. I'm here every night."
My Gramps died at Pearl on a day in December."
Then he sighed,
And now it is my turn and so, here I am.
But my wife sends me pictures; he's sure got her smile."
or lay down my life for my sister or brother,
who stand at the front against any and all.
To ensure for all time that
"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
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."