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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.
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."
 

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Thats great bud. But you are cruel, you brought tears to my eyes.
 

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Oh how I wish things like this poem were taught in our schools, but sadly they are not. Write a paper on the military in school and you will not get a very good grade. Sad very sad.
 

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thanks
 

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Rman---wow---the author musta been there himself-that's all right on...anything worth having is worth dying for---and standing for!!!
 
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