So anyways, I felt the need to put pen to paper, or at least digits to keys after what just went on...
Not only for my sake but for the sake's of all you folks out there who are thinking of us, or missing your own soldier, or just patriotic and worried about us while we are here and you are there.
We just had our Christmas Dinner. And let me say this, Christmas here is wonderful just in a little bit different way than it is at home. Now as I sit here listening to Ray Charles's song, "That Spirit of Christmas" This is what comes to mind.
There is a lyric in that song that goes, "All the kinfolk gathered 'round the loving Christmas tree". Which is exactly what we did here today. As soldiers we are all brothers and sisters in arms. We may not be blood, but it has been said a thousand times, we share a bond deeper than anything most people could ever imagine.
Now while there is no way that my brothers and sisters could ever replace my family, however they definitely made a suitable surrogate. And I would not trade this Christmas for anything in the world. I mean I got to see my First Sergeant in an elf hat that gyrated from left to right and had a whole bunch of flashing red and green lights around the brim. That by itself was worth the price of admission. (Not to mention, I got to see the Commander spooning out generous helpings of corn and green beans. That's right Sir! Get to work)
Another line in that song goes, "Christmas is the time of year, for being with the ones we love", now I am not with the ALL the ones I love, but I am most certainly with some of them. My brothers and sisters in arms who are all going through the same thing, as I am this holiday season. I do love each and every one of you, even if I don't like some of you all that much.
Still another line in that song, "It's truly amazing, that spirit of Christmas” It most certainly is. We got stockings full of candy, fatty cakes and gloves and shit from someone back home I have never met, and we all got a box filled with everything you could think of, to include of all things, peanut butter and jelly! Where's the bread man? All the bread here is stale. But even that doesn't change the fact that some nice people back home, namely Barbara and Earl from...somewhere, took the time to buy all this stuff, box it up, and send it to us. I don't know whom they are and probably never will but they still managed to brighten up Christmas day for this soldier so far from home. Thanks, I'll never forget it.
I love days like this just because they show you the resiliency of the human spirit and the generosity that can come when people are backed up against it. So with that I leave you to enjoy your families and friends, all of us may not be home this Christmas, but we found a family with which to celebrate. Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.
And thank you Ray Charles for giving me the words that I probably never would've come up with on my own.
And now I'm done.
I love you mom...
P.S. The following is called “A Soldier’s Silent Night” This shit happens all the time, someone always says it better than I ever could so here it is…
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 whom, in this dwelling did live.
I looked all around a strange sight to see.
No tinsel, no presents, not even a tree.
No stockings on the mantle, just boots filled with sand.
On the walls hung pictures of far distant lands.
Medals, and badges, awards of every kind.
A sobering thought came alive in my mind.
This house was different, it was dark, it was dreary.
I’d found the home of a soldier; I could see that most clearly.
The solider lay sleeping, silent, alone.
Curled up on the floor in this one bedroom home.
His face was so gentle, the room in such disorder.
Not at all how I’d pictured a United States soldier.
Was this the hero of whom I’d just read?
Curled up on a poncho, the floor for a bed.
Then I realized the other families that I saw this night.
Owed their lives to soldiers, so willing to fight.
In the morning around the world, children would play.
Grownups would celebrate a bright Christmas day.
But they all enjoy freedom each month of the year.
Because of soldiers, like the one lying here.
I couldn’t help but wonder how many lay alone.
On a cold Christmas Eve in lands far from home.
The very thought brought a tear to my eye.
And I dropped to my knees and I started to cry.
The soldier awakened, I heard his 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 he drifted to sleep.
But I couldn’t control it and I continued to weep.
I kept watch for hours, so silent and still.
As both of us shivered from the cold night’s chill.
I didn’t want to leave him on that cold, dark night.
This guardian of honor, so willing to fight.
Then the soldier rolled over with a voice soft and pure.
He 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, May God bless you this night.