Skip to comments.Christmas 2012 (North on our military)
Posted on 12/21/2012 11:31:50 AM PST by jazusamo
EPHRATA, PA Five years ago, this annual Christmas column was written while our Fox News "War Stories" team was embedded with the U.S. Army's 3rd Infantry Division south of Baghdad. A year earlier, the Christmas 2006 column was written in Ramadi, Iraq, while we were embedded with 1st Battalion, 6th Marines in what was then the bloodiest place on the planet. In 2005, this column originated with 3d Battalion, 7th Marines and the 2nd Brigade of the 28th Infantry Division, Pennsylvania National Guard, in Anbar Province. In the days before Christmas that year, we were able to document the first free elections ever held in an Arab country.
It's been like that for most of the last 11 years ever since the horrific terror attacks of 9/11. In the days before celebrating the birthday of the Prince of Peace, we have been able to keep company with America's heroes. But this year, after being embedded with U.S. special operators and the 3rd Battalion, 8th Marines in Afghanistan, we returned home in time for Thanksgiving. Instead of composing this column in an armored vehicle on the way to a dusty outpost in the shadows of the Hindu Kush, I'm doing so aboard a comfortable Premier motor coach en route to a book signing.
When I'm overseas with our soldiers, sailors, airmen, guardsmen and Marines serving in harm's way, I'm inspired by their extraordinary esprit and demonstrated tenacity in very difficult conditions. Despite their circumstances, the young Americans I have been covering for the last 11 years exhibit an infectious optimism. I've concluded that the confidence of our troops in the field is the consequence of their being brighter, better educated and trained, more physically fit and far more committed to a cause they believe in than their civilian peers...
(Excerpt) Read more at creators.com ...
Good job, thanks for posting.
Merry Christmas, My Friend
By James M. Schmidt, a Marine Lance Corporal
stationed in Washington, D.C., in 1986
Twas the night before Christmas, he lived all alone,
In a one bedroom house made of plaster & 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 Id 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 couldnt 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.
Reports are that after leaving the Corps, Corporal Schmidt earned a law degree and now serves as an
attorney in Los Angeles and is director of operations for a security consulting firm.
Bought your book Brother.
Bought your book Brother.