A Christmas poem for our troops

A Different Christmas Poem[FONT=Verdana] [/FONT]

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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.[/FONT][FONT=Verdana] [/FONT][FONT=Arial][/FONT]

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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.[/FONT][FONT=Verdana] [/FONT][FONT=Arial][/FONT]

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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.[/FONT][FONT=Verdana] [/FONT][FONT=Arial][/FONT]

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Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.
A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.[/FONT][FONT=Verdana] [/FONT][FONT=Arial][/FONT][FONT=Verdana]
“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. [/FONT][FONT=Arial][/FONT][FONT=Verdana]
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. [/FONT][FONT=Arial][/FONT][FONT=Verdana]
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. [/FONT][FONT=Arial][/FONT][FONT=Verdana]
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.[/FONT][FONT=Verdana] [/FONT][FONT=Arial][/FONT][FONT=Verdana]
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.”[/FONT][FONT=Verdana] [/FONT][FONT=Arial][/FONT][FONT=Verdana]
“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.” [/FONT][FONT=Arial][/FONT][FONT=Verdana]
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.”

PLEASE, would you do me the kind favor of sending this to as many
people as you can? Christmas will be coming soon and some credit is due to our
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.
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****** LCDR Jeff Giles, SC, USN
30th Naval Construction Regiment
OIC, Logistics Cell One
Al Taqqadum, Iraq ******[/size][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT]

Thank you Gerry, that is a very touching poem, and for your service. Merry Christmas!

Hey Gerry!

 Thanks for posting that awesome and touching poem. We really do owe a lot of thanks to the men and women who watch over us every day of the year. We should be praying for them around the clock..................By the way; how's business in Mississauga?

Gerry,
I just read this with hot tears running down my face.

As a Viet Nam Veteran I want to thank you for posting this poem!

I have just E-Mailed it to my sons and family.

May you and your family have a very Merry Christmas and… May God Bless ALL of our American and Canadian servicemen & women where ever they may be!

Hey guys… it is a great poem and toched me deeply. if only the general public understood this sacrifice by the men and women of both our nations armed forces.

Frank
Thought you would be interested. One of my mom’s cousins. Medal of Honor Recipient.

ALBANESE, LEWIS
Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Army, Company B, 5th Battalion (Airmobile), 7th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division. Place and date: Republic of Vietnam, 1 December 1966. Entered service at: Seattle, Wash. Born: 27 April 1946, Venice, Italy. G.O. No.: 12, 3 April 1968. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life and beyond the call of duty. Pfc. Albanese’s platoon, while advancing through densely covered terrain to establish a blocking position, received intense automatic weapons fire from close range. As other members maneuvered to assault the enemy position, Pfc. Albanese was ordered to provide security for the left flank of the platoon. Suddenly, the left flank received fire from enemy located in a well-concealed ditch. Realizing the imminent danger to his comrades from this fire, Pfc. Albanese fixed his bayonet and moved aggressively into the ditch. His action silenced the sniper fire, enabling the platoon to resume movement toward the main enemy position. As the platoon continued to advance, the sound of heavy firing emanated from the left flank from a pitched battle that ensued in the ditch which Pfc. Albanese had entered. The ditch was actually a well-organized complex of enemy defenses designed to bring devastating flanking fire on the forces attacking the main position. Pfc. Albanese, disregarding the danger to himself, advanced 100 meters along the trench and killed 6 of the snipers, who were armed with automatic weapons. Having exhausted his ammunition, Pfc. Albanese was mortally wounded when he engaged and killed 2 more enemy soldiers in fierce hand-to-hand combat. His unparalleled actions saved the lives of many members of his platoon who otherwise would have fallen to the sniper fire from the ditch, and enabled his platoon to successfully advance against an enemy force of overwhelming numerical superiority. Pfc. Albanese’s extraordinary heroism and supreme dedication to his comrades were commensurate with the finest traditions of the military service and remain a tribute to himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.

Gerry,
I want to thank you for this link. Many of us who live in “Freedom” do not realize that “Freedom” comes at a very high price.
I Pray for all of our Viet Nam veterans who paid the ultimate price!

If ever you have a chance please tell his parents hello and that even though I never met Lewis… I still pray for him and for all of my fellow Viet Nam veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice.

http://www.mishalov.com/Albanese.html](http://www.mishalov.com/Albanese.html)
Here are some pictures of Lewis as his high school friend.

http://www.1stcavmedic.com/cmhcav/albanese.html](http://www.1stcavmedic.com/cmhcav/albanese.html)

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-vetscor/1178055/posts](http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-vetscor/1178055/posts)
Here is a nice link with an actual picture of his gravesite.

Frank

Thank you for the above links. It was my turn to tear up.
This man was an inspiration all my life and because of him I joined the C.A.F. Canadian Airborne Regiment 3 Commando '82 to '88. I will pass your message to my mom who will hopefully relay it to the younger generation. If I recall right I think the parent’s have passed on.