Small Town Veteran

Baby boomer, nerdy kid, Viet Nam veteran, engineer, daddy, grandpa.
Politically incorrect.  Proud anti-idiotarian

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"May no soldier
go unloved."

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A Marine'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.

As 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 a far distant land.

With medals and badges, awards of all kind,
a sobering thought soon came to my mind.
For this house was different, unlike any I’d seen.
This was the home of a U.S. Marine.

I’d heard stories about them, I had to see more,
so I walked down the hall and pushed open the door.
And there he lay sleeping, silent, alone,
Curled up on the floor in his one-bedroom home.

He seemed so gentle, his face so serene,
Not how I pictured a U.S. Marine.
Was this the hero, of whom I’d just read?
Curled up in his poncho, a floor for his bed?

His head was clean-shaven, his weathered face tan.
I soon understood, this was more than a man.
For I realized the families that I saw that night,
owed their lives to these men, who were willing to fight.

Soon around the Nation, the children would play,
And grown-ups would celebrate on a bright Christmas day.
They all enjoyed freedom, each month and all year,
because of Marines like this one lying here.

I couldn’t help wonder how many lay alone,
on a cold Christmas Eve, in a land far from home.
Just the very thought brought a tear to my eye.
I dropped to my knees and I started to cry.

He must have awoken, for 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.”

With that he rolled over, drifted off into sleep,
I couldn’t control it, I continued to weep.

I watched him for hours, so silent and still.
I noticed he shivered from the cold night’s chill.
So I took off my jacket, the one made of red,
and covered this Marine from his toes to his head.
Then I put on his T-shirt of scarlet and gold,
with an eagle, globe and anchor emblazoned so bold.
And although it barely fit me, I began to swell with pride,
and for one shining moment, I was Marine Corps deep inside.

I didn’t want to leave him so quiet in the night,
this guardian of honor so willing to fight.
But half asleep he rolled over, and in a voice clean and pure,
said “Carry on, Santa, it’s Christmas Day, all secure.”
One look at my watch and I knew he was right,
Merry Christmas my friend, Semper Fi and goodnight.

©1987 by James M. Schmidt

I've seen at least 5 different versions of this poem over the past few years. The above version comes from this page on the IWVPA site.  It appears to be a faithful reproduction of this Leatherneck Magazine version, which Snopes is convinced is the original version. When I emailed a link to Blackfive, he wrote back and told me he's convinced the poem was originally written by an Army Ranger and stolen by the Marines. As I told him, when a Ranger and a Marine disagree this ol' boy stands way back and does not get involved.  Merry Christmas to all of our Warriors. May God bless and keep you.

Hat tip: Mary Ann

Posted by Bill Faith on December 16, 2004 at 03:44 AM in Christmas, Poetry, The American Warrior | Permalink


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference A Marine's Christmas:

» Poetics from Grim's Hall
UPDATE: Bill suggests "A Warrior's Christmas," available in a slightly different form, plus as a sound file, here. [Read More]

Tracked on Dec 18, 2004 8:01:38 PM


Note: I hate to have to do it but I'm turning on comment and trackback moderation. If you post a legitimate trackback or comment I'll do my best not to be too slow about approving it. If the only reason you're here is to advertise your porn, music, or penis enhancement site you can kiss my sweet ass.

YES. I authored Merry Christmas My Friend back in 1987. And YES, I'm a Marine. And I'm just sick and tired of Air Force Lt Cols, Green berets and any Ranger who wants to blow smoke and even try to claim authorship. Ask Lt. Col Bruce Lovely (FORMER USAF) what happens when you lie about such things. You pay dearly for moral screw ups. Especially when your questioning the integrity of a Marine Scout Sniper Instructor who also holds a license to practice law. So come on Ranger. Show me YOUR publication & copyright and I'll show you mine.

Posted by: james schmidt | Jul 10, 2008 10:53:39 PM

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