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From Connie Harris

December 27, 2012
Tyler Star News

The Night Before 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 just who in this house did live?

I looked all about, a strange sight did I see,

No tinsel, no presents, not even a tree.

No stockings by the mantle, just boots filled with sand, and on the wall pictures of distant lands.

With medals and badges, awards of all kinds,

A sobering thought came to my mind.

For this house was different, so dark, and so dreary

The home of a soldier, now I could see clearly.

The solder lay sleeping, silent, alone

Curled up on the floor in this one room bedroom home

The face was so gentle, the such disorder, not how I picture a United States soldier.

Was this hers of whom I 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, they would play, and grown ups would celebrate a bright Christmas Day.

They all enjoyed freedom each month of the year,

Because of the soldiers, like the one laying here.

I couldn't help wonder how many lay alone on a cold Christmas eve on a land far from home

The very thought brought a tear to my eye, I dropped on my knee and started to cry.

The soldier awakened and I heard a rough voice

"Santa don't cry, this life is a choice.

"I fight for freedom, I don't ask for more, my life is my God, my country, my corps."

The solder rolled over and soon drifted to sleep, I couldn't control it, I continued to weep

And kept watch for hours, so silent and still and we both shivered from the cold evening'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.

By Lance Corporal James M. Schmidt

I received this in a label package from DIsabled American Veterans for Christmas.

To donate to the DIsabled American Veterans, send to DAV, P.O. Box 14301, Cincinnati, OH 45250-0301; or www.dav.org.

Connie S. Harris

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