Monday, December 19, 2011

A Soldier's Silent Night

As spoken by Ted Berndt

 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 just who 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 wall 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 had found the home of a soldier. I could see that most clearly.
The soldier 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 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
owe their lives to soldiers who are willing to fight.
In the morning, around the world, children would play,
grownups would celebrate a bright Christmas day.
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 this cold Christmas Eve in lands far from home.
The very thought brought a tear to my eye.
I dropped to my knees and I started to cry.
The soldier awakened and 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 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 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."

No comments:

Post a Comment