SGT. SHAFT: Ode to a lonely warrior on Christmas Eve

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Dear Sgt Shaft, I found a writing in your publication about Santa Claus finding a soldier asleep in his hut on Christmas Eve. It is a beautiful tribute to our service folks, especially those who serve overseas during the holidays. I did that way back in 1951.

You stated that the writer wanted people to read it. I did not notice a disclaimer that requires permission So, just in case it is required, I hereby request permission to copy it and forward it to my e-mail buddies. - Walter K., Army retired.

Dear Walter,

As I mentioned in a previous column, I again wish all my readers a very merry Christmas and offer special thanks for the poignant words of a fellow Marine for capturing the true meaning of the season. His only request was that people read it. Please enjoy and share this poem.

” ‘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 I did see, no tinsel, no presents, not even a tree.

“No stocking by 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 home of a soldier, once I could see clearly.

“The soldier lay sleeping, silent, alone, curled up on 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’d just read? Curled up on a poncho, the floor for a bed?

“I realized the families that I saw this night, owed their lives to these soldiers who were willing to fight.

“Soon round the world the children would play and grown-ups would celebrate a bright Christmas Day.

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