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Otto's Doll
12-08-2004, 10:25 PM
I had no Christmas spirit when I breathed a weary sigh,
and looked across the table where the bills were piled too high.
The laundry wasn't finished and the car I had to fix,
My stocks were down another point, the Dolphins lost by six.
And so with only minutes till my son got home from school,
I gave up on the drudgery and grabbed a wooden stool.
The burdens that I carried were about all I could take,
and so I flipped the TV on to catch a little break.
I came upon a desert scene in shades of tan and rust,
No snowflakes hung upon the wind, just clouds of swirling dust.
And where the reindeer should have stood before a laden sleigh,
eight hummers ran a column right behind an M1A.
A group of boys walked past the tank, not one was past his
teens,
Their eyes were hard as polished flint, their faces drawn and lean.
They walked the street in armor with their rifles shouldered tight,
their dearest wish for Christmas, just to have a silent night.
Other soldiers gathered, hunkered down against the wind,
To share a scrap of mail and dreams of going home again.
There wasn't much at all to put their lonely hearts at ease,
They had no Christmas turkey, just a pack of MRE's.
They didn't have a garland or a stocking I could see,
They didn't need an ornament-- they lacked a Christmas Tree.
They didn't have a present even though it was tradition,
the only boxes I could see were labled "ammunition".
I felt a little tug and found my son now by my side,
He asked me what it was I feared, and why it was I cried.
I swept him up into my arms and held him oh so near
and kissed him on the forehead as I whispered in his ear.
There's nothing wrong, my little son, for safe we sleep tonight,
our heroes stand on foreign land to give us all the right,
to worry about the things in life that really mean nothing at all,
instead of wondering each day if we will be the next to fall.
He looked at me as children do and said it's always right,
to thank the ones who help us and perhaps that we should write.
And so we pushed aside the bills and sat to draft a note,
to thank the many far from home, and this is what we wrote,
God bless you all and keep you safe, and speed your way back
home.
Remember that we love you so, and that you're not alone.
The gift you give, you share with all, a present every day,
You give the gift of liberty and that we can't repay.

(I have no idea who the author is, I received it this morning as
an email and knew it was too special not to share. I hope you all
enjoy it.)

powellrj
12-09-2004, 04:35 AM
wow, that was powerful, thanks for sharing with us

binny
12-10-2004, 01:50 PM
amazing, thank you!

krazyboutWDW
12-18-2004, 08:25 PM
Thank you so much for your beautiful post. I read it with a huge lump in my throat. When I think of all the brave men and women (including DD's BF) who are away from home, many probably for the first time, it makes me so sad. God bless each and every one of them!!

CareBlair
12-19-2004, 02:03 AM
This is by a man named Michael Marks, written in December 2003. The original can be found at http://www.iwvpa.net/marksm/the_sand.htm.

Here's what he wrote about this poem:

"Christmas tugs at the heart more so than any other time of the year and in 2003 I found myself watching the news and reflecting on the young men and women facing a very different Christmas than those we knew here at home. Once again, I wrote with the hope of sharing how much America appreciates the service that keeps us safe, and how much we pray for the safe homecoming of all who serve."

If you liked this poem, you should also read his 2000 poem entitled "A Soldier's Christmas" at http://www.iwvpa.net/marksm/a_sold.htm.

He writes:
"A Soldier's Christmas was the first in this series of patriotic writings, drafted on Pearl Harbor Day 2000 when in the wake of the 2000 Presidential Election our nation saw the right of US Armed Forces personnel openly questioned and debated. I felt it unconscionable that at the onset of the Christmas season, those serving to defend our nation would hear anything but our love and support. It is our challenge to stand for their rights at home while they stand for our lives and safety overseas. This poem went out and quickly spread around the world in emails, letters, magazines. I received letters from Marines in Bosnia, soldiers in Okinawa, from a submariner who Xeroxed a copy for everyone on his sub. Moms wrote, dads, brothers and sisters. I have saved and cherish every letter and set out to continue writing throughout the year."

Merry Christmas and God Bless the Soldiers.