Dedicated to Our Soliders - Merry Christmas and Thank you!

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by HennysMom, Dec 1, 2008.

  1. HennysMom

    HennysMom Keeper of the Tiara

    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.

    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.

    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.


    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.

    "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..

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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."

    " 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."

    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."
     
  2. tackyrama

    tackyrama Chillin' With My Peeps

    460
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    Aug 14, 2008
    Central Minnesota USA
    Very nice sentiments. We still have strong and brave men and women to stand for our great country.

    Below is a letter written during the Civil War by federal soldier Sullivan Balou. It was his last letter.


    July the 14th, 1861
    Washington DC

    My very dear Sarah:

    The indications are very strong that we shall move in a few days - perhaps tomorrow. Lest I should not be able to write you again, I feel impelled to write lines that may fall under your eye when I shall be no more.

    Our movement may be one of a few days duration and full of pleasure - and it may be one of severe conflict and death to me. Not my will, but thine 0 God, be done. If it is necessary that I should fall on the battlefield for my country, I am ready. I have no misgivings about, or lack of confidence in, the cause in which I am engaged, and my courage does not halt or falter. I know how strongly American Civilization now leans upon the triumph of the Government, and how great a debt we owe to those who went before us through the blood and suffering of the Revolution. And I am willing - perfectly willing - to lay down all my joys in this life, to help maintain this Government, and to pay that debt.

    But, my dear wife, when I know that with my own joys I lay down nearly all of yours, and replace them in this life with cares and sorrows - when, after having eaten for long years the bitter fruit of orphanage myself, I must offer it as their only sustenance to my dear little children - is it weak or dishonorable, while the banner of my purpose floats calmly and proudly in the breeze, that my unbounded love for you, my darling wife and children, should struggle in fierce, though useless, contest with my love of country?

    I cannot describe to you my feelings on this calm summer night, when two thousand men are sleeping around me, many of them enjoying the last, perhaps, before that of death -- and I, suspicious that Death is creeping behind me with his fatal dart, am communing with God, my country, and thee.

    I have sought most closely and diligently, and often in my breast, for a wrong motive in thus hazarding the happiness of those I loved and I could not find one. A pure love of my country and of the principles have often advocated before the people and "the name of honor that I love more than I fear death" have called upon me, and I have obeyed.

    Sarah, my love for you is deathless, it seems to bind me to you with mighty cables that nothing but Omnipotence could break; and yet my love of Country comes over me like a strong wind and bears me irresistibly on with all these chains to the battlefield.

    The memories of the blissful moments I have spent with you come creeping over me, and I feel most gratified to God and to you that I have enjoyed them so long. And hard it is for me to give them up and burn to ashes the hopes of future years, when God willing, we might still have lived and loved together and seen our sons grow up to honorable manhood around us. I have, I know, but few and small claims upon Divine Providence, but something whispers to me - perhaps it is the wafted prayer of my little Edgar -- that I shall return to my loved ones unharmed. If I do not, my dear Sarah, never forget how much I love you, and when my last breath escapes me on the battlefield, it will whisper your name.

    Forgive my many faults, and the many pains I have caused you. How thoughtless and foolish I have oftentimes been! How gladly would I wash out with my tears every little spot upon your happiness, and struggle with all the misfortune of this world, to shield you and my children from harm. But I cannot. I must watch you from the spirit land and hover near you, while you buffet the storms with your precious little freight, and wait with sad patience till we meet to part no more.

    But, O Sarah! If the dead can come back to this earth and flit unseen around those they loved, I shall always be near you; in the garish day and in the darkest night -- amidst your happiest scenes and gloomiest hours - always, always; and if there be a soft breeze upon your cheek, it shall be my breath; or the cool air fans your throbbing temple, it shall be my spirit passing by.

    Sarah, do not mourn me dead; think I am gone and wait for thee, for we shall meet again.

    As for my little boys, they will grow as I have done, and never know a father's love and care. Little Willie is too young to remember me long, and my blue eyed Edgar will keep my frolics with him among the dimmest memories of his childhood. Sarah, I have unlimited confidence in your maternal care and your development of their characters. Tell my two mothers his and hers I call God's blessing upon them. O Sarah, I wait for you there! Come to me, and lead thither my children.

    Sullivan
     
  3. mangled

    mangled Chillin' With My Peeps

    Xerox is sponsoring a card drive for the soldiers. If you go to this site:
    http://www.letssaythanks.com/Home1024.html

    You can pick out a thank you card, personalize it, and Xerox will print it out with your message and send it to a soldier overseas.

    The Civil War letter brought tears to my eyes. What a blessed life he must have had.

    Em
     
  4. HennysMom

    HennysMom Keeper of the Tiara

    *sniffles* - what a lovely letter..... DH and I collect old diary's and letters from the early 19th - 20th centuries and before (if we can find them earlier) -and its amazing to see the lives of others in such a personal way. A step back in time I will glady take any day of the week to read over certain books of today..

    What a nice thing Xerox is sponsoring as well!
     
  5. AussieSharon

    AussieSharon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 18, 2007
    Virginia
    If anyone can spare a Christmas card to send to a deployed hero please do so.

    You can get an address to send directly at www.anysoldier.com
    It covers all branches of the military. A regular first class stamp is all you need.

    My "adopted" soldier who was only a year away from retirement was sent home wounded a couple of months ago. He's got injuries to his eyes, ears, arms and leg. Please keep him and all the other great men and women in your thoughts and prayers.
     

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