One week out from Christmas, and following up from last week’s post, here’s the final rendition of Merry Christmas, My Friend. This one goes out to all the seafaring brothers and sisters unable to make it home for Christmas, and those lucky enough to be with their families.
Before we start, I’d also like to share a Christmas song I think is rather fitting as the holiday fast approaches. For me I think it represents stripping away the commercialism from Christmas and getting back to it’s core value – caring about your fellow man and wishing them well.
Here’s the Navy rendition of the 1986 Merry Christmas, My Friend poem written by Former Lance Corporal James M. Schmidt, then stationed at Marine Barracks, Washington D.C..
A Sailor’s Christmas
Twas the night before Christmas, the ship was out steaming,
Sailors stood watch while others were dreaming.
They lived in a crowd with racks tight and small,
In a 80-man berthing, cramped one and all.
I had come down the stack with presents to give,
And to see inside just who might perhaps live.
I looked all about, a strange sight did I see,
No tinsel, no presents, not even a tree.
No stockings were hung, shined boots close at hand,
On the bulkhead hung pictures of a far distant land.
They had medals and badges and awards of all kind,
And a sober thought came into my mind.
For this place was different, so dark and so dreary,
I had found the house of a Sailor, once I saw clearly.
A Sailor lay sleeping, silent and alone,
Curled up in a rack and dreaming of home.
The face was so gentle, the room squared away,
This was the United States Sailor today.
This was the hero I saw on TV,
Defending our country so we could be free.
I realized the families that I would visit this night,
Owed their lives to these Sailors lay willing to fight.
Soon round the world, the children would play,
And grownups would celebrate on Christmas Day.
They all enjoyed freedom each day of the year,
Because of the Sailor, like the one lying here.
I couldn’t help wonder how many lay alone,
On a cold Christmas Eve on a sea, far from home.
The very thought brought a tear to my eye,
I dropped to my knees and started to cry.
The Sailor awakened and I heard a calm voice,
“Santa, don’t cry, this life is my choice.”
“Defending the seas all days of the year,
So others may live and be free with no fear.”
I thought for a moment, what a difficult road,
To live a life guided by honor and code.
After all it’s Christmas Eve and the ship’s underway!
But freedom isn’t free and it’s sailors who pay.
The Sailor say’s to our country “be free and sleep tight,
No harm will come, not on my watch and not on this night.
The Sailor rolled over and drifted to sleep,
I couldn’t control it, I continued to weep.
I kept watch for hours, so silent, so still,
I watched as the Sailor shivered from the night’s cold chill.
I didn’t want to leave on that cold dark night,
This guardian of honor so willing to fight.
The Sailor rolled over and with a voice strong and sure,
Commanded, “Carry on Santa, It’s Christmas, and All is Secure!”
Check back next week for another rendition of this Christmas poem – and click the image below to get ‘A Sailor’s Christmas’ Poem for someone special, serving or retired. This poster is available framed or unframed. Click here to get yours in time for the holidays!
Remember all the men and women of not only our armed forces, but of other nations that can’t be home with their friends and family this Christmas.
If you know someone that doesn’t have family or isn’t able to spend Christmas with others, get them to join you.
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Countdown to Christmas, Part 3: A Sailor’s Christmas Poem. is a post from and appeared first on SUPP UP.