I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.
Transforming the yard to a winter delight.
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.
But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear.
And I crept to the door just to see who was near.
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.
Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.
"Come in this moment, it's freezing out here!
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,
Then he sighed and he said "Its really all right,
I'm out here by choice. I'm here every night."
"My Gramps died at 'Pearl on a day in December,"
Then he sighed, "That's a Christmas 'Gram always remembers.
And now it is my turn and so, here I am."
But my wife sends me pictures; he's sure got her smile."
The red, white, and blue... an American flag.
Away from my family, my house and my home.
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat."
Or lay down my life with my sister and brother,
To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall.
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?
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.
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,
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us."