Saturday, December 6, 2014

A Veteran’s Christmas Wish--By Robert A. Hall--United States

A Veteran’s Christmas Wish

Each year when Christmas comes around again,
I pause on Christmas Eve to take a dram
Of whisky, and I think of absent friends,
And Christmas in a place called Vietnam.

I think of boys who never had the chance
To see their kids on Christmas Eve at play,
Their lives were spent that freedom might advance,
From Valley Forge right up through yesterday.

They fell at Belleau Wood and Normandy,
At Gettysburg, at Iwo and at Hue,
They gave their lives to keep our people free,
And never saw another Christmas Day.

So take a moment from your festive joys,
To think of soldiers who were young and true,
And say a prayer on Christmas Eve for boys
Who gave up all their Christmases for you.

Published in Old Jarhead Poems, Leatherneck and Poetic Voices. Note that “Hue” is pronounced “way,” and Scotch Whisky is spelled without the “e”!

Robert A. Hall, a Marine Vietnam Veteran, served 5 terms in the Massachusetts State Senate. He was an Association Executive from 1982 to 2013, retiring due to pulmonary fibrosis for a lung transplant 12/23/13. His 11 books, including two of poetry, Old Jarhead Poems and Share the Cup are here: Royalties go to charity. He does the Old Jarhead blog.


  1. Robert, my husband is a Vietnam Vet and we were just talking this afternoon about the sadness of war and the Vietnam war in particular and how it seemed like to him all that he did giving his very best mentally and physically to that war that was just given up as a lost cause, was all for nothing. To this day he gets tears in his eyes when he rarely talks about it. War is horrible, yes, and so very many have given
    their lives that we here in America can live free of oppression. I for one appreciate the price so many have paid. Thank you for a well written poem and for sharing your talent.
    Sincerely, Charlene

  2. touching write.. im no soldier but i do know how it feels to not celbrater Christmas with family or the usual festivity is such occassions.

  3. Thank you, Robert Dufresne, for the following--

    Your poem: a much needed reminder of the reality of war and just how much it costs in irreplaceable human lives and to their loved ones. These losses of which you speak so eloquently, continue to go on exponentially in a myriad of ways. Only God Almighty knows. Your poem affected me deeply. I did stop and pray for them. Thank you, Robert.

    Bob D

  4. Robert,, the picture you paint here is a far too common one and yet it stings so badly as if hearing for the first time......... how sad, how awful, how unbearable! Sheri

  5. A touching poem, Robert. I enjoyed it very much. Thank you for sharing and continued blessings!

    -MJ (