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T'was 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 soldier, once I could clearly see.
The soldier lay sleeping, silent, alone,
curled up on the floor in this one bedroom home.

The face was so gentle, the room in such disorder,
not how I pictured a United State Soldier.
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 soldiers 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 soldiers, like the one lying here.

I couldn't help wonder how many lay alone,
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 soldier 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 soldier rolled over and soon 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 from the cold night's chill.

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

Then the soldier 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."

This poem was written by a Marine.
The following is his request.

Would you do me the kind favor of sending
this to as many people as you can."

I would be most honored to show it to the world.
To those who have gone before you in times past,
and those who will go behind you, in the future,
You fight and die, to defend and protect,
the liberty and freedom of this land.

Our thoughts, our prayers, our hopes,
our dreams and our future, are in your hands.

Navy Marines Coast

The Firefighters, The Police Officers, The Soldiers, The Doctors,
The Paramedics, The Nurses, The Volunteers,
those who give so unselfishly of themselves in great times of need.

These are the HEROS.

I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America
and to the country for which it stands one nation under God,
indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

Francis Bellamy (1855 - 1931), a Baptist minister,
wrote the original Pledge in August 1892.

"The Flag still stands for Freedom. I'm proud to be an American.
At least in America, I know I'm free.
And I won't forget the men who died that gave that right to me.
I'll gladly stand up next to you and defend her still today,
'Cause there ain't no doubt I love this land, God Bless the U.S.A."

"God Bless The USA"
Lee Greenwood

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