A Soldier's Christmas

 

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.

picture.gif

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 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.

Spur Memorial Service.Gif
Spur Memorial Service - Quan Loi, Vietnam

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."

A version found on YouTube

 

 

Soldier.Gif
Graphic courtesy of the U.S. Veteran Dispatch

Photos courtesy of Dan Sutherland of the Silver Spurs

 

The above poem was written by a Marine
stationed in Okinawa Japan
for all soldiers, past and present...

 

 

"CHRISTMAS IN THE TRENCHES"

 

WWI Tanks
Courtesy of Compton's Encyclopedia

 

Oh, my name is Frances Tolliver,
I come from Liverpool.
Two years ago the war was waitin'
For me after school.

From Belgium and to Flanders,
Germany to here.
I fought for King and country
I love dear...

Twas Christmas in the trenches,
And the frost so bitter hung.
The frozen fields of France were still,
No songs of peace were sung...

Our families back in England,
Were toasting us that day.
Their brave and glorious lads,
So far away...

I was lyin' with me mess mates,
On the cold and rocky ground.
When across the lines of battle came,
A most peculiar sound...

Says I, "Now listen up me boys,"
Each soldier strained to hear.
As one young German voice,
Sang out so clear...

"He's singin' bloody well ya know,"
My partner says to me.
Soon one by one each German voice,
Joined in, in harmony...

The cannons rested silent,
And the gas cloud rolled no more.
As Christmas... brought us respite,
From the war...

As soon as they were finished,
And a reverent pause was spent.
"God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,"
Struck up some lads from Kent.

Oh, the next they sang was "Steller Nacht,"
To "Silent Night" says I.
And in two tongues one song,
Filled up that sky...

"There's someone comin' towards us now,"
The frontline sentry cried!
All sights were fixed on one lone figure,
Trudging from their side...

His truce flag like a Christmas star,
Shone on the plains so bright.
As he bravely, trudged unarmed
Into the night...

Then one by one on either side,
Walked into no-man's land.
Neither gun or bayonet,
We met there hand to hand...

We shared some secret brandy,
And we wished each other well.
And in a flare-lit football game
We gave them hell...

We traded chocolates and cigarettes,
And photographs from home.
These sons and fathers, far away,
From families of their own...

Tom Sanders played his squeeze box,
And they had a violin.
This curious, and unlikely
Band of men...

Soon daylight stole upon us,
And France was France once more.
We said fairwell as we each began
To settle back to war...

But the question haunted every heart,
That lived that wonderous night.
"Whose family, have I fixed,
Within my sights?..."

Twas Christmas in the trenches,
And the frost so bitter hung.
The frozen fields of France were born,
As songs of peace were sung!...

For the walls they'd kept between us,
To exact the work of war.
Had been crumbled, and were gone
Forever more!...

Oh, my name is Frances Tolliver,
In Liverpool I dwell.
Each Christmas comes, since World War I,
I've learned its lessons well...

For the ones who called the shots won't be,
Among the dead and lame!
And on each end of the rifle,
We're the same..........

 

(J. McCutcheon, Arr. B. Phillips), © Appal Songs as featured on John McDermott's "Remembrance" album © 1998 EMI Music Canada

www.johnmcdermott.com

 

Transcribed by Roger Young, Silver Spur webmaster
E-mail: bear317@aol.com

 

 

A Soldier's Christmas

Michael Marks
December 7th, 2000
marksman@patriot.net

In loving appreciation of the countless Americans who have and continued to serve in the Armed Forces, and those who gave their life for their country. Your sacrifices will never be forgotten. We look forward to the day you come home. God bless and keep you always, and God Bless America.

 

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 eye 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 "Its really all right,
I'm out here by choice. I'm here every night"

"Its 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.

Pearl Harbor - 7 Dec '41

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 sisters and brothers
who stand at the front against any and all,
to insure 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.

 

 

Merry Christmas in Iraq
by Silver Spur, Dan Sutherland - © 2003

Their "tough" Royal Guard
man how they must of took flight
As Saddam leaped from his throne
and ran scared through the night

He musta moved fast
during that shock an awe blast
and he didn't care about his sons
as they fell to their last. (wink)

"He left his countrymen unfed"
is what will be said,
and "some thought he was dead
when bombs rained on his head."

--But he didn't give a hoot
when he split with the loot.
??Where's the millions of dollars
you murdin' old coot??

Now they say he was found
near his old boyhood town;
The home of this "elite"
was a place called "Tikreet"

Yeaaahh, he was down in some tunnel
just burrowing around.
Like a rat in a celler;
like an ol' kerrdog hound

The 4th infantry found him,
as he sat there in shudder...
He was munchin on chocolate
and ate stank peanut butter

But they gave him a break...
no grenade did they throw
But if the tables were turned
why he'd of put on a show

Why you'd see hands and heads fall
from the sabres swift blow
and "the feet goes in first"
watching one dying of thirst
Ohh The murdering butcher
proved a big coward skipper
(wonder who supplied him
with that terrible "wood chipper"?)

Say "so long" to the monster
this bad American hater...
--his kids are no more
and he's no longer dictator

His countries in shambles
His troops almost dead
"Saddams been handed over..."
so the media said

And he's going to stand trial
like a Nazi Sieg Heil
with some other Ba'ath members
who no longer smile

Surely the press knew him
with all their pythian smiles
how could thy not know
of his bad work n style?
Their cameras they rolled
through this rulers long miles
How weird they kept secret
the tapes of his wiles??

Now if I was the leader
of ole Babylon town
I tear down the bricks
where this coward was crowned

And the place wouldn't be fit
for neither a hawk nor a hound..
---Nope never again ...
would his name ever be found

He'd not get one single mention
not one letter towards fame
No more would you hear of
Mr. Saddam Hussein

You wouldn't hear a whisper;
not even in disgraceful proclaim..
I'd prohibit the mention
of that "fearless" insane

I'd remove the sight of his face
from every corner n space----
I'd dismantle it brother
His memory I would smother

He'd share no place
with Nebuchanezzar on a wall,
I'd topple each brick
until I got em all,

And all of his palaces
each one they would fall
I'd burn up those images
in a big fireball...

?You know that one image--
the one they couldn't get down??
The idol they out a cable on,
in the middle of that town??

Why I'd make a decree,
that there'd be no false idols
and write it in all languages
and big Arabic titles.

I'd mke sure it was known
throughout the whole land
and I staple it on up
on every post in the sand...

Hey... Merry Christmas in Iraq
to ALL of our soldiers
Keep fighting for freedom
with our flag on your shoulders...

>>>England your brave<<<
Your troops tall in their stance
But guys don't turn your back
on the country name France

And to all of you others,
in Michael's band through the land
>>FIGHT ANY DICTATOR<<
who attempts the sole stand.

 

 

Silver Spur Special Mission
Silver Spurs Flying Our Nation's Flag in the vicinity of Baghdad, Iraq - 4 Jul 2008
Via CW3 Michael Montoya Jr.

 

 

 

Jesus is the reason for this Season

In all the hustle and bustle of the
Christmas season, we all too often
forget the real reason for this
season.

Jesus

With out JESUS,
There would be no shopping days,
No bright lights on houses and
streets, and Christmas trees.
No Christmas cookies,
Or piles of gifts,
And most of all no close friends like
you and you're Family to share the
Holidays with;

If Jesus had not been born!

Author Randall Meredith
Spur Rifle Platoon
© 2006

 

 

 

 

Created by fellow Spur, Tom Runkle
Created by fellow Spur, Tom Runkle

 

Bar.Gif

 

Posted courtesy of the Silver Spurs & The Northwest Veterans Newsletter who wish all who have or are
serving this country and their families a blessed Holiday Season...

 

Christmas poems submitted by fellow Silver Spur
Randall Meredith

[Updated: 12 Oct '08]

 

In Remembrance of Our Fallen 3/17th Cav Troopers
[Vietnam]

 

In Remembrance of The current Fallen 3-17th Cav Troopers
[Iraq]