Chase Family Christmas Newsletter

Good Evening Netizens… this blog entry will change as I fill in the blanks and generate the annual Chase Family Christmas Newsletter.  Since some folks are not fond of HTML, it comes in a few varieties… the e-mail saying Merry Christmas and the like, then links to pictures, this blog and small blurbs about each of us.  So… bear with!!  And of course… Merry Christmas!!
 
 
 
Whoo hoo!  The page is done with lots of nifty links to other folks Christmas sites and a few to our pictures on Webshots.  I came across this poem which makes the rounds just about every year.
 
Currently, I am re-reading a book "On Killing", by Lt. Colonel Dave Grossman.  It deals with the physical and mental requirements necessary to take another man’s life and the subsequent mental and physical costs.  This book has been helpful in putting into words the common sense issues regarding this subject.  In the course of my work,  I deal with vets who did not make the adjustment back to civilian life.  I do everything I can to show my gratitude and compassion – thinking back on this poem is always a good start.  The version that normally makes the rounds is called the soldier’s story.  The original was actually written by a marine.  Here is the original version in its entirety.  I hope you enjoy it!
 
Merry Christmas, My Friend

Twas the night before Christmas, he lived all alone,
In a one bedroom house made of plaster & stone.

I had come down the chimney, with presents to give
and to see just who in this home did live

As I looked all about, a strange sight I did see,
no tinsel, no presents, not even a tree.
No stocking by the fire, just boots filled with sand.
On the wall hung pictures of a far distant land.

With medals and badges, awards of all kind,
a sobering thought soon came to my mind.
For this house was different, unlike any I’d seen.
This was the home of a U.S. Marine.

I’d heard stories about them, I had to see more,
so I walked down the hall and pushed open the door.
And there he lay sleeping, silent, alone,
Curled up on the floor in his one-bedroom home.

He seemed so gentle, his face so serene,
Not how I pictured a U.S. Marine.
Was this the hero, of whom I’d just read?
Curled up in his poncho, a floor for his bed?

His head was clean-shaven, his weathered face tan.
I soon understood, this was more than a man.
For I realized the families that I saw that night,
owed their lives to these men, who were willing to fight.

Soon around the Nation, the children would play,
And grown-ups would celebrate on a bright Christmas day.
They all enjoyed freedom, each month and all year,
because of Marines like this one lying here.

I couldn’t help wonder how many lay alone,
on a cold Christmas Eve, in a land far from home.
Just the very thought brought a tear to my eye.
I dropped to my knees and I started to cry.

He must have awoken, for 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."

With that he rolled over, drifted off into sleep,
I couldn’t control it, I continued to weep.

I watched him for hours, so silent and still.
I noticed he shivered from the cold night’s chill.
So I took off my jacket, the one made of red,
and covered this Marine from his toes to his head.
Then I put on his T-shirt of scarlet and gold,
with an eagle, globe and anchor emblazoned so bold.
And although it barely fit me, I began to swell with pride,
and for one shining moment, I was Marine Corps deep inside.

I didn’t want to leave him so quiet in the night,
this guardian of honor so willing to fight.
But half asleep he rolled over, and in a voice clean and pure,
said "Carry on, Santa, it’s Christmas Day, all secure."
One look at my watch and I knew he was right,
Merry Christmas my friend, Semper Fi and goodnight.

 
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