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: http://tinyurl.com/n79esoh. Royalties go to charity. He does the Old Jarhead blog.