willys-mb-santa-claus-xtmas-cardI asked Jess if I could put her post back a bit and post this as the early post, just to remind you that I’m still about. Sometimes we get so involved with Christmas that we forget those who can’t be with us, and that some of them never will be again, in this world. So as we open our presents and enjoy our families today, perhaps we should take a moment to remember those men, and women, who have given so much, often all, to keep us free to worship, yes, but also to be greedy jerks. 🙂

They’ve come from all over America, in all our storied history, but they’ve also come from Jess’ Great Britain, and France, and Germany, Poland, Australia, the Philippines, all the world really. And some of the best haven’t come, but served their own people. They have served us selflessly and well.

We all know this poem; this is (according to Snopes) the original version, published in Leatherneck Magazine in 1991.

Think, and Enjoy

Merry Christmas, My Friend

By James M. Schmidt, a Marine Lance Corporal
stationed in Washington, D.C., in 1986

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.

Reports are that after leaving the Corps, Corporal Schmidt earned a law degree and now serves as an
attorney in Los Angeles and is director of operations for a security consulting firm.

Merry Christmas and Semper Fi,

Guys and gals, we’ll be thinking of you all

And a very Merry Christmas to Jess, and her family, and to all of our readers.


About NEO
Lineman, Electrician, Industrial Control technician, Staking Engineer, Inspector, Quality Assurance Manager, Chief Operations Officer


  1. Yes Amen! Merry Christmas and Semper Fi to the USMC! And all Marines from the Free World! From an old “Bootneck” myself.

    *Btw, I have taken the American Leatherneck magazine myself over the years. I always look at the section of American Marines who have died and passed the scene, past and present, and check for those I might have known, RIP!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on My Daily Musing and commented:

    Merry Christmas, NEO. This is a great post of Christmas to our troops.

    Liked by 1 person

    • NEO says:

      Thanks, Lafayette, something we shouldn’t forget

      Liked by 1 person

      • Amen

        Liked by 1 person

        • NEO says:



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