Who We Are

Friday, December 08, 2006

A Soldier's Christmas Poem

Tail wags, everypup! It's me, Storms. During this busy Christmas season, please don't forget to stop and remember those wonderful members of our military who serve so that we can be free and safe! The US Department of Defense has updated the "Heroes" page; we encourage you to click the photo-link above and learn more about our heroes! We've also updated our sidebar link, to coordinate!I'll leave you with this poem we received via email. According to the International War Veterans' Poetry Archive (IWVPA) this poem was written in December of 2000 by Michael Marks.

A Soldier's Christmas

The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.
Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
Transforming the yard to a winter delight.
The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.
My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.
In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.

The sound wasn't loud, and it wasn't too near,
But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear.
Perhaps just a cough, I didn't quite know,
Then the sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.
My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door just to see who was near.
Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.

A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.
"What are you doing?" I asked without fear,
"Come in this moment, it's freezing out here!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!"

For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts..
To the window that danced with a warm fire's light
Then he sighed and he said "Its really all right,
I'm out here by choice. I'm here every night."
"It's my duty to stand at the front of the line,
That separates you from the darkest of times.
No one had to ask or beg or implore me,
I'm proud to stand here like my fathers before me.
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."
On behalf of the Army of Four, we give our heartfelt thanks to the men and women of the US military! We love you and we will never forget!

Carry on, pups. Merry Christmas!

Tail wags,
Supreme Commander
The Army of Four

PS: Photo credits, top to bottom: The DoD Heroes page :), me, me again, and Zim.


  1. Stormy,
    You make the perfect Supreme Commander. How could any troops resist your sad-eyed look? They would do whatever you want immediately!

    That was a nice poem. Thanks for sharing!


  2. Amen.
    God bless all of our men and women in uniform. May He watch over all in harm's way.

    Roxie, Sammy & Andy

  3. Anonymous1:22 PM

    Awesome poem - gave me shivers! I'm going to send it to some of my human friends. Our Stryker Brigade came home this past week after 15 months in Iraq and our town is celebrating!

  4. Thanks for posting that Stormy. We need to remember all the people out there risking their lives for us. Thanks.


  5. A lovely tribute, Stormy. Thanks for posting.

    And you look like the perfect mascot.

    Chow for now,

    Tin Tin xo

  6. How very patriotic! I didn't understand a word of it but, Mama used that word.


  7. T-man: I love leading my troops. Glad you liked the poem!

    Dachsies: Well said!

    Zach: Thanks for sending the poem along! We think it's really beautiful! That's great that your whole town is celebrating the Stryker Brigade's homecoming! Hoo-ah!!!

    Opy: Yes, we do! And we don't forget that our wonderful Australian allies are right along side of our troops!

    Tin Tin: Thank roo very much!

    Chelsea: We are very patriotic pups!

    Tail wags,

  8. Oh Stormy! What a beautiful and moving poem. Thanks for reminding us to never forget all those men and women who give their all for democracy!

    PS. You look very nice in your pictures! Such pretty eyes!


  9. Holly: Thank roo! The bottom pic is Zim - doesn't he look cool!?
    Tail wags,

  10. oooh well now I, Jeannie, am weeping! Such a wonderful poem.

    Marvin cannot comment tonight as he is still in Jail..... but release day tomorrow.

    Be prepared for slo mo pics....Marvin and Jeannie "We'll Meet Again"

    love your Sunday Salutes.....take care
    God Bless All Our Soldiers, American and UK....!

    Jeannie on her own missing the Marvin Factor in her life !

  11. Thank roo, Miss Jeannie!
    Tail wags,

  12. IWVPA Webmaster's Note:

    Thank you for your kind words about the IWVPA website.

    The poem, A Soldier's Christmas was written by Michael Marks. It would be appropriate for your Blog to display the correct title of Michael's poem. For your information, I have forwarded to him, details of the guest-book entry you wrote at IWVPA for his information, and because it is his prerogative whether or not to approve the display of his poem on your Blog.

    On another note, congratulations on a fine Blog. As an Australian Vietnam Veteran who served as a helicopter gunner, I didn't have a great deal to do with the K9 Corps, but I know several blokes who are now my dear friends but whom I would never have met but for the skill and bravery of the dogs and their handlers!

    Anthony W. Pahl, OAM
    IWVPA Webmaster
    December 15, 2006

  13. Dear Mr. Pahl:
    Thank you for visiting our blog! I have corrected the name of the poem and humbly apologize for the initial error! Thank you also for forwarding our remarks to Mr. Marks; we will certainly abide by any requests he makes regarding his fine poem.
    Thank you for your service to your country - we have many Australians who read our blog and who are fellow dog bloggers! In fact, our Dogs With Blogs
    network is based in Australia!
    Our "dad" served in the US Army for 28 years and is a Desert Storm vet; our "mom's" dad served for 30 and was a Vietnam vet! Many of the men in our adopted family serve in uniform and we just couldn't be prouder of them!
    Thank you again!
    Respectful tail wags,