A Soldier’s Christmas Story

My Gramps died at ‘Pearl on a day in December,“
Then he sighed. “That‘s a Christmas ‘Gram always remembers.”

My dad stood his watch in the jungles of ‘Nam
And now it is my turn and so, here I am.

I’ve not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures, he’s sure got her smile.

Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag.
The red white and blue… an American flag.

“I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home.

I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat,

I can carry the weight of killing another
Or lay down my life with my sister and brother

who stand at the front against any and all,
to ensure for all time that this flag will not fall.“

“So go back inside,“ he said, “harbor no fright
Your family is waiting and I’ll be all right.”

“But isn’t there something I can do, at the least,
“Give you money,” I asked, “or prepare you a feast?

It seems all too little for all that you’ve done,
For being away from your wife and your son.”

Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
“Just tell us you love us, and never forget

To fight for our rights back at home while we’re gone.
To stand your own watch. no matter how long.

For when we come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled

is payment enough, and with that we will trust.
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us.

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