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A Letter From Marines Stationed in Iraq
A letter from Iraq ^ | 12/14/05 | Self

Posted on 12/14/2005 7:33:18 AM PST by Bloody Sam Roberts

Christmas greetings Freepers.

Yesterday, I and my family received a set of Christmas cards and letters. They are from a group of United States Marines stationed in Iraq. I thought I would share them with folks on Free Republic who would appreciate them as I know we all appreciate what these young folks are doing for us.

Last month, my family found out about a website called AnySoldier.com. It is a place where troops stationed overseas can place small bios and snippets of what they are doing, where they are stationed and what materials would be appreciated from home.

We decided to put together Christmas packeages of much needed items for two groups; one group of female Marines who requested "girlie" items and another group of male Marines who requested more utilitarian items. Both units are assigned to a CH-53 helicopter squadron.
Mrs. B. S. Roberts and my daughter went shopping and put together a huge box of junk/snack foods and more personal/hygeine type items for the women.
The letters we received are from the group of female Marines. The text of one follows.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

24 Nov 2005

Dear Friends,

Happy Thanksgiving and greetings from Iraq. Let me first apologize for this non-personalized letter. We would have liked to respond to each of you individually but with the mass amount of letters and care packages we have received, that would be impossible considering our work load here. Since we posted our needs on the AnyMarine website, the response has been overwhelming. We would like to thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Each package and letter you sent was touching and comforting to know that you all care and support us. Today is 'Thanksgiving and we were fortunate enough to have a good meal and be with friends. We spent the evening sorting through our packages and separating each item to distribute them to the other lady Marines. We plan on putting together personafized gift bags from the items you sent to give the girls on Christmas morning. They will be so surprised as they have no idea of our little plan. Tonight we plan on decorating our work spaces with the decorations that you've sent as well. We are really getting into the Christmas spirit around here. We are fortunate enough to five and work in established buildings which make this possible. We even have a 'secret Santa" gift exchange planned to make Christmas more enjoyablable. Again, we thank you for opening your hearts to service people and recognizing our sacrifice during the holiday season and always. Your gifts have lifted our spirits and made the holiday season a happier time for us.

Thank you.


TOPICS: Announcements; Culture/Society; Editorial; Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Government; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events; War on Terror; Your Opinion/Questions
KEYWORDS: anysoldiercom; christmas; iraq; letters; marine; oif; personalaccount; progress; troops; troopsupport; usmarines; waronterror
I would also like to post one other item that came with one of the letters from the Marines in Iraq. It is a Christmas poem and really touched me. I thought it would be nice to share it here. It is titled simply, MERRY 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.

WITH MEDALS AND BADGES,
A WARDS 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 LA Y SLEEPING,
SILENT, ALONE,
CURLED UP ON THE FLOOR
IN THIS ONE BEDROOM HOME.

THE FACE WAS SO GENTLE,
THE ROOM SUCH A MESS,
NOT HOW I PICTURED
THE UNITED STA TES BEST.

WAS THIS THE HERO
OF WHOM ID 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
WHO WERE 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 LY ALONE,
ON A COLD CHRISTMAS EVE
INA 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 WA T CH FOR HO URS,
SO SILENT AND STILL
AND WE BOTH SHIVERED
FROM THE COLD NIGHT'S CHILL.

I DIDN'T WANT TO LEA VE
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 DA Y, ALL IS SECURE.

ONE LOOK A T MY WATCH,
AND I KNEW HE WAS RIGHT.
"MERRY CHRISTMAS MY FRIEND,
AND TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT "


1 posted on 12/14/2005 7:33:19 AM PST by Bloody Sam Roberts
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To: 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub

Ping.


2 posted on 12/14/2005 7:34:03 AM PST by Bloody Sam Roberts (This is my tagline. There are many like it but this one is mine.)
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To: Bloody Sam Roberts

ping


3 posted on 12/14/2005 7:40:17 AM PST by Bhrian
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To: Bloody Sam Roberts


The poem was BEAUTIFUL. :* Thank you for sharing.


4 posted on 12/14/2005 7:41:53 AM PST by ninergold3 (aka GiantsPrincess)
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To: Bloody Sam Roberts

Simply magnificent!


5 posted on 12/14/2005 7:46:25 AM PST by WalterSkinner
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To: Bloody Sam Roberts; Laurita; CMS; The Sailor; txradioguy; Jet Jaguar; Defender2; ...
"This is from me to those that have not written yet, please write, use it,
tell about your family, your hobbies, how the weather is, what are you planning for the weekend.
Tell a funny thing that happened, send a joke anything. Tell about your pets and kids.
We miss home and it means a lot to hear from everyone."

From a US Marine's e-mail


Will You help keep the Candle Lit for our service men and women?
Can you spare a few moments today to either
e-mail them or learn about sending packages to them?
Many of them are away from home for the 1st time.
PLEASE Click on the graphic and help cheer them up.
You will stay right where you are on this thread while you write them.

6 posted on 12/14/2005 7:46:25 AM PST by 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub (Have you said Thank You to a Service Man or Woman today?)
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To: Bloody Sam Roberts

Thank you for sharing. It is always good to hear from America's finest!


7 posted on 12/14/2005 8:00:24 AM PST by Just A Nobody (I - LOVE - my attitude problem! WBB lives on. Beware the Enemedia.)
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To: 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub

Big Bump!!!!


8 posted on 12/14/2005 8:02:07 AM PST by Soaring Feather (For our fabulous TROOPS, Thank You, for your service.)
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To: Bloody Sam Roberts

A DIFFERENT CHRISTMAS POEM

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 Marine, I puzzled, some twenty years old, All dressed in cammies, 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.



9 posted on 12/14/2005 8:06:37 AM PST by 2111USMC
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To: 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub

Thanks for the ping!


10 posted on 12/14/2005 8:09:11 AM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub

BTTT


11 posted on 12/14/2005 8:10:49 AM PST by E.G.C.
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To: Bloody Sam Roberts

That poem always seems to stir the dust because something is in my eye.


12 posted on 12/14/2005 8:11:39 AM PST by Blood of Tyrants (G-d is not a Republican. But Satan is definitely a Democrat.)
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bump


13 posted on 12/14/2005 8:14:00 AM PST by eureka! (Hey Lefties and 'Rats: Over 3 more years of W. Hehehehe....)
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To: Bloody Sam Roberts

ping for later


14 posted on 12/14/2005 8:19:32 AM PST by rlmorel ("Innocence seldom utters outraged shrieks. Guilt does." Whittaker Chambers)
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To: 2111USMC
Thanks for posting taht. It is beautiful. A message we must all remember.
15 posted on 12/14/2005 8:39:56 AM PST by Bloody Sam Roberts (This is my tagline. There are many like it but this one is mine.)
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To: Blood of Tyrants

I know just what you mean.


16 posted on 12/14/2005 8:41:11 AM PST by Bloody Sam Roberts (This is my tagline. There are many like it but this one is mine.)
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To: 2111USMC
This poem always brings forth a prayer, tears and deeply felt gratitude for our Military no matter where they are.

Thanks..........

(just the best site!)

17 posted on 12/14/2005 8:51:31 AM PST by yoe
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To: Bloody Sam Roberts

Thanks BloodySam, now I have a hugh lump in my throat. Great poem.


18 posted on 12/14/2005 8:54:53 AM PST by GunnyHartman (Allah is allah outta virgins.)
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To: Bloody Sam Roberts

BTTT


19 posted on 12/14/2005 9:49:12 AM PST by StarCMC (Old Sarge is my hero...doing it right in Iraq! Vaya con Dios, Sarge.)
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To: GunnyHartman

Very touching. I called my Marine Buddy this am....just to say hello!!


20 posted on 12/14/2005 9:53:21 AM PST by Sacajaweau (God Bless Our Troops!!)
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To: Bloody Sam Roberts
ping

*sniff* God bless the USMC
21 posted on 12/14/2005 10:48:12 AM PST by PleaDeal (Bill Whittle for Pres. in '08)
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To: Bloody Sam Roberts

later read


22 posted on 12/14/2005 11:16:49 AM PST by little jeremiah
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To: Bloody Sam Roberts

Beautiful post and that poem always brings tears.


23 posted on 12/14/2005 11:22:14 AM PST by Chena (I'm not young enough to know everything.)
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To: 2111USMC

God bless you, 2111USMC! Are you the author of this beautiful poem? I want to send this on to my family and friends. Merry Christmas from a military mom. :)


24 posted on 12/14/2005 11:24:16 AM PST by Chena (I'm not young enough to know everything.)
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To: Bloody Sam Roberts

I have sent an e-mail to all of our family and friends with the link to AnySoldier.com. God bless our military men and women, and their families & friends!

BTTT


25 posted on 12/14/2005 11:32:23 AM PST by Chena (I'm not young enough to know everything.)
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To: All

http://www.anysoldier.com/


26 posted on 12/14/2005 11:33:08 AM PST by Chena (I'm not young enough to know everything.)
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To: 2111USMC; XJarhead; You Dirty Rats

I challenge anyone to read this poem without crying. My "Distinguised Marines" stamp sheet for my Christmas cards propped here in front of me suddenly got very bleary. The bad news, and the good news, is that they disappeared from our post office almost immediately. Unfortunately no more will be printed--the P.O. will be too busy printing out those .39 stamps. Our freedom is etched on the faces of these brave men.

May God bless and keep all our troops safe.


27 posted on 12/14/2005 11:35:54 AM PST by GoldwaterChick
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To: Chena

Thank you! The troops love that site. They have been bombarded with care packages from home and it has really lifted the spirits of many soldiers.


28 posted on 12/14/2005 12:25:01 PM PST by Bloody Sam Roberts (This is my tagline. There are many like it but this one is mine.)
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To: Bloody Sam Roberts

I get weepy EVERY TIME I read this poem. And, my Marine will be spending another Christmas in Iraq.


29 posted on 12/14/2005 12:34:25 PM PST by SAMS (Nobody loves a soldier until the enemy is at the gate; Army Wife & Marine Mom)
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To: Chena
No, I'm not the author.

I've been receiving this poem via e-mail from different people around Christmas over the last few years.

Please feel free to pass it around. (That's the purpose!)

Merry Christmas to you and yours!!!
30 posted on 12/14/2005 12:57:23 PM PST by 2111USMC
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To: Bloody Sam Roberts

BTTT!


31 posted on 12/14/2005 1:58:09 PM PST by ScreamingFist ( The RKBA doesn't apply if I have a bigger gun than your bodyguard. NRA)
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To: Bloody Sam Roberts
Beautiful, Sam.

Please ping me whenever you post something like this. I love our military, and take every opportunity to do things for them, whether it is a letter or care package or money, or simply letting others know how they can support our wonderful troops.

I will add that site to my profile page, and will send it on.

32 posted on 12/14/2005 7:19:59 PM PST by teenyelliott (Soylent green should be made outta liberals...)
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To: teenyelliott
Please ping me whenever you post something like this.

Actually, I did think of you (like that's a surprise) and was going to ping you but I was so freepin' busy yesterday I sort of...forgot. Forgive me.

Anysoldier.com is such a great site. Very well run and maintained. The troops love it because it is easy for them and it works.

If/when I get anything back from the guys in the CH-53 squadron, I'll post it either here or on a new thread...depending on the content. I imagine they are a little busier less able to pop off a letter than the support group we just heard from.

33 posted on 12/15/2005 6:15:08 AM PST by Bloody Sam Roberts (This is my tagline. There are many like it but this one is mine.)
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To: Bloody Sam Roberts

Thank you for that special poem , my eyes are all teared up now. Let's all try and do a good job in doing whatever we can, to help all of our warriors, young and old, we love you!!!


34 posted on 12/15/2005 10:24:24 AM PST by 911angelady
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To: patriciaruth

Ping


35 posted on 12/15/2005 3:54:36 PM PST by Libloather (God bless America - and the blue states, too...)
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To: Bloody Sam Roberts; 2111USMC

Both poems were wonderful and touching. Had to run for the tissues! Bless them all!


36 posted on 12/20/2005 3:02:40 PM PST by ShuShu
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