The Soldier

I received this just before last Christmas when my son was in Afghanistan. Some of you may have seen it before but it will hurt none of us to read it again.

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 SEE CLEARLY.

THE SOLDIER LAY SLEEPING,

SILENT, ALONE,

CURLED UP ON THE FLOOR,

IN THIS ONE BEDROOM HOME.

THE FACE WAS SO GENTLE,

THE ROOM IN DISORDER,

NOT HOW I PICTURED,

A TRUE BRITISH SOLDIER.

WAS THIS THE HERO,

OF WHOM I'D JUST READ?

CURLED UP ON A PONCHO,

THE FLOOR FOR A BED?

I REALISED 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 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 DID NOT 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 Peacekeeping soldier stationed overseas. The following is his request. I think it is reasonable

PLEASE. Would you do me the kind favour of sending this to as many people as you can? Christmas will be coming soon and some credit is due to all of the service men and women for our being able to celebrate these festivities. Let's try in this small way to pay a tiny bit of what we owe. Make people stop and think of our heroes, living and dead, who sacrificed themselves for us. Please, do your small part to plant this small seed.

16 Replies

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  • Have read it before Bobby,but something that I would never tire of reading,very moving.thank you Bobby.

  • That really got to me, I will send it on to as many as I can. Thanks. Andy

  • That was heart rendering Bobby ,not just the poem but too think you have a son in Afghanistan

    We all have different lives to lead and it seems to me the ones on here with compassion and a good sense of humour are the ones with bigger burdens to bare . take care Bobby Dorothy xx

  • Big loves :)

  • Thank you for that poem, it brought tears to my eyes.

  • I've passed it on too a few friends,some still serving,so hopefully it'll work it's way through the ranks.

  • Thank you Jambo, that is apreciated.

    Bobby

  • No matter how many times I have just read that poem it is still tugging the heart strings, thank you for that Bobby. Winging its way round a few more homes now. Regards Dozy x

  • I can read it again and again and still it brings tears to my eyes. Thank you.

  • Thankyou Bobbie for those of us who have no connection with the forces it does us good to be reminded of not only what those brave men do for us but also how their families must suffer. I will remember to say a special prayer for you and all the other families. God Bless you.

  • X x x x bobby hope your boy is safe and well, will pass this on

  • He is in Kenya now. He got there two days before that big load of trouble they had. That boy just can't keep out of trouble. lol

    Bobby xxx

  • Wonderful, tugged at my heart strings too. My brother died recently and he was a soldier as was I, we had both spent time peacekeeping at Christmas in pretty horrible places. It was sometime ago for us both, long before Afghanistan and it was relevant then as it is now.

  • Thank you Bobby for that one, I have seen it posted else where, by varied military personnel. It's very true and you and I both know what it is like to have family in war zones at Christmas. My sons just gone on from the British army after 22 years to the Ozzy army. He's one of the lucky ones, hope it's the same for your son.A kindly reminder that the world is still not at peace to spite all the battles.

  • Very poignant Bobby

    KOTC

  • Lovely Bobby too true, red eyes here. X

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