A Soldier’s Silent Night

All over this country and the world, there are soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen who will be standing watches on ships at sea, in guard posts on military bases, or in dangerous postings over the holiday season. This variation of a famous Christmas poem, “The Night Before Christmas” was written by a soldier for all those who serve.

The poem’s tone is admittedly rather melodramatic, expressing a romantic point of view, but within it are sentiments both deep and meaningful. The ideas may resonate with anyone who has served, maybe even more so with those who have seen and experienced the realities of war.

Photo: YouTube/Leroux Louisiana

The reality is that, while most of us will enjoy the pleasantries and joys of the holiday season in the company of family and friends, there are many who wear the uniforms of our military services who will be standing the watch in faraway places, some of them very dangerous places, throughout these holidays, ensuring the freedoms we have with their lives.

Many a family in this country will have empty seats at their holiday tables. They represent the sons and daughters, the husbands and wives, the fathers and mothers, who volunteered to serve, who swore that oath “to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic” and are carrying it out, no matter how much they would prefer to be at home with their families during these holidays.

Photo: YouTube/Leroux Louisiana

These soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen are of every faith and no faith. But in the brotherhood of service, they share the same duties, the same risks, and the same love of country. In many ways, they are an example to all of us. They are the picture of our country in all of its wondrous and beautiful diversity. And yet, they serve this nation and its ideals together. Don’t get me wrong, they are not all saints, nor do they all have to like each other, but when push comes to shove, they will trust and sacrifice for each other when the cause of freedom is threatened.

Photo: YouTube/Leroux Louisiana

Over the course of this holiday season, let us remember those who serve in our all-volunteer military. They have chosen to be our guardians. As the soldier in this poem says to Santa, “My life is my God, my country, and my corps.” And so it is. We must not forget what it is that they do on our behalf.

We wish all who serve a safe and peaceful holiday season, wherever they are. We remember their families, too, for they serve the country as well. We thank them all for their service and their sacrifices on our behalf. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or other holidays at this time, we wish you all everything that is good and true and beautiful.

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