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      “Home of a Veteran”, Author: Cmdr. Donald M. DeWitt, USN, Retired.

      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 home did live.
      I looked all about, a strange sight did I see,
      No tinsel, no presents, not even a tree.
      No stocking by the 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 house of a soldier, once I could see clearly.
      The soldier lay sleeping, silent, alone,
      curled upon the floor in this one bedroom home.
      The face was so gentle, the room in such disorder,
      Not how I pictured a United States soldier.
      Was this the hero of whom I just read?
      Curled up on a poncho, the floor for a bed?
      I realized the families I saw on this night,
      owed their lives to these soldiers, who were willing to fight.
      Soon round the world the childen 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 started to weep.
      I kept watch for hours, so silent and still
      And we both shivered from the cold night’s chill.
      I didn’t want to leave on that cold, dark night
      This Guardian of Honor so willing to fight.
      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!

      * Author Cmdr.Donald M DeWITT,USN Retired

      Remember those that suffer in silence,
      Remember those that give us freedom,

      Ron

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