A Soldiers Silent Night by Father 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.
As I looked all around, a strange sight to see,
no tinsel, no presents, not even a tree.
No stocking 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 his one-bedroom home.
His face was so gentle, room in such disorder,
Not at all how I pictured a U.S. soldier.
Was this the hero, of whom I’d just read?
Curled up on a poncho, a floor for a bed?
Then I realized the other families that I saw this night
Out there lies the soldiers who are willing to fight.
In the morning around the world, children would play
Grown-ups would celebrate a bright Christmas day
But they all enjoyed freedom, each month through the year,
because of soldiers like the one lying here.
I couldn’t help but wonder how many lay alone,
on a cold Christmas Eve, in lands far from home.
The very thought brought a tear to my eye.
and I dropped to my knees and I started to cry.
The soldier awakened, 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,
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.
He whispered, “Carry on Santa, it’s Christmas Day, all secure.”
One look at my watch and I knew he was right,
Merry Christmas my friend,
May God bless you this night.
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