Friday, December 5, 2008

Remembering Our Troops

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 eyes 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."
"It's 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.

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 sister and brother..
Who stand at the front against any and all,
To ensure 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."


Lanny said...

That poem had a very good message.
Thank you for the reminder.

Lib said...

Hi Jo,
A Beautiful post!
God Bless our troops!

Mountain Mama said...

This is a beautiful poem. I think we need all the reminders we can get to pray for our troops. Thank you.

PEA said...

My heart goes out to all our troops who will be spending Christmas without their loved ones and so far away from home. That poem is so beautiful and yes, we must never forget our soldiers. We just lost another 3 Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan from a roadside bombing...I can't even imagine what their families are going through. xoxo

Prixie said...

ah, thats sad. so many battles yet the mistakes are repeated from generation to generation

BClark said...

Pixie you are so right, you would think somewhere along the line we would learn something. Great Poem, thank you for sharing. So sorry about your medical problems.
I know very well what you mean about trying to do the right thing. So many times a sarcastic or cruel thought will come to mind. It is not the person I want to be and so am constantly working on it. Good for you to realize that a change of heart and mind was needed. Blessing to you

Sweetie said...

The poem is lovely and provides much food for thought. I am sorry about your medical problems. I have a genetic neuro-muscular disease so can relate to what you are undergoing. Your little Caden is in my prayers. I really enjoyed my visit.

violetlady said...

What a poem -- makes us be more grateful for "our boys and girls".
Thanks for sharing.

Jess said...

Great post...Have a great week ahead. Hope all is well with you and yours... Lots of love!


Gene Bach said...

Remember them indeed! They are the reason we still have the freedoms we do. Great post.

The Old Man and His Dog said...

Thank you for the kind words about Simba. You are always so kind. We need more people like you in this world.

Mary said...


God bless our troops, both Canadian and American. I love the button you posted. And yes, I pray for our troops everyday. I also write to a US soldier in Iraq.

Take care and thanks for posting this. We all need to be aware that without our troops, we would not have the freedoms that we do today.


BittersweetPunkin said...

Such a lovely post...thanks so much for such a wonderful read!

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