'Twas The Night Before Christmas

Respectfully dedicated to David J. Beem, USMC

Written by a Marine on Okinawa,

Lance Corporal James M. Schmidt

'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.

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 Marine, once I could see clearly.

The Marine lay sleeping, silent, alone,
curled up on the floor in this one bedroom home.
The face was so gentle, the room so unclean,
not how I pictured a United States Marine.

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 Marines, 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 Marines, like the one lying here.

I couldn't help wonder how many lay lone,
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 Marine 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 Marine 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 in the night's cold chill.

I didn't want to leave on that cold, dark night,
this guardian of honor so willing to fight.
Then the Marine 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."

USMC Christmas Ornament

USMC Ornament Sets

Santa Claus infront of USMC Dress Blue Uniform

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Copyright (c) RWD Ploessl, BA, MS

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