'Twas the night before Christmas, he lived all alone,
In a one bedroom house made of plaster & 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 the fire, just boots filled with sand,
On the wall hung pictures of far distant lands.
With medals and badges, awards of all kind
A sober thought came through my mind.
For this house was different, so dark and dreary,
I knew I had 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 such disorder,
Not how I pictured a United States soldier.
Was this the hero of whom I’d just read?
Curled up in his poncho, a floor for his bed?
I realized the families that I saw that 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 Day, all is secure.”
One look at my watch, and I knew he was right,
"Merry Christmas my friend, and to all a good night!"