Over the last few days I've been reading soldiers stories, and the stories of proud parents of soldiers who died in the war, as posted on numerous Blogs and, this morning, as I sat here safe in my apartment free to enjoy the fun of a week long nasty cold, and cough, without fear of a terrorist blowing up my residence, it occurred to me that there was something I could do to express my thanks to all of these people for their brave sacrifices.
With sincere apologies to Clement Moore:
'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through Baghdad
Neither citizen, nor soldier was stirring, not even the Baker, Hadad;
The soldiers socks were hung around the cramped room with care,
As everyone joked that St. Nicholas would get quite the scare;
The mens weapons were nestled all snug next to their make-shift beds,
While visions of capturing Osama danced in their heads;
And the Sergeant in his helmet, and I in my cap,
Had just settled down to look over a map;
When out on the street there arose such a noise,
We awoke the patrol, with caution, and poise.
Away to the windows we flew like a flash,
To see who in tarnation was being so brash.
The moon being full, and all a glow,
Made everthing clear down below,
When what to our wondering eyes should appear,
But an armored Sleigh, and 8 battle-ready rein-deer,
With a camoflaged driver, so alert, and quick,
We knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
To a stop his coursers they came,
And he whispered to them one by one, each name;
"Hush, Dasher! Hush, Dancer! Quiet, Prancer, and Vixen!
Silence, Comet, Cupid, Donder, and Blitzen!
To that nearby porch! Your asses haul!
Now dash that way! That way! That way all!"
As dry leaves that before the desert wind fly,
When they meet an obstacle, react in the blink of an eye;
So over to our building the whole crew flew,
With the sleigh full of packages, and letters, and the Old Soldier, too.
And then in a twinkling, I heard a voice say "oomph",
Someone with a big load was worried about carrying it to the roof--
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Through the door St. Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed as we were, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all dusty from his hat to his boot;
A bundle of gifts he had dragged in a sack,
And he looked like the mailman just opening his pack.
His eyes-- how they twinkled! even his dimples were merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His mouth though was serious, through a beard white as snow,
Afterall he was standing in the middle of a War Zone, you know;
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encirled his head like a wreath;
With that broad face, and big round belly,
That shook when he suddenly laughed like a bowl full of jelly,
He was chubby, and plump, a serious, yet still jolly, old elf,
And we all laughed when we saw him in spite of ourselves.
A wink of his eye, and a twist of his head,
Gave us to know that we had nothing to dread;
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
Approaching the mens socks, he turned with a smirk,
And, after pressing his fingers to his nose,
He passed items out to all 12 of us as we stood in 4 rows;
Then he sprang outside to his sleigh, and to his team gave a "Yo"!,
And away they all flew, to another encampment they would go;
But we heard him exclaim, as he flew out of sight,
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night."
A wonderful bit of Flash Animation, by Cap'n Bob, that reminds us all why our Men, and Women, are over there:
Never Forget! ( A Tip of the Hat to Sgt. Hook! )