In the lead up to Christmas…..

Written by ahq_admin

22 December 2016

I read this on the Facebook page of one an army medic who I am privileged to call friend and who I have the greatest respect for. I know she won’t mind me sharing this with you.
This is for all our deployed troops and their families.  I do not know who Michael Marks is but he hit the nail on the head beautifully. We should all be letting out troops know, whenever we can, that they matter to us.
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 eye 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 Grunt, 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 “It’s 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 ‘Gallipoli 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 Australian 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 sisters and brothers 
who stand at the front against any and all, 
to insure 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.”

2000 Michael Marks


Love that I have some really dedicated readers that will do some research when needed. Here is the link to the info about the author…. and the background behind the poem…

Best wishes for a safe, peaceful and Merry Christmas to all our serving members and their families, wherever they may be from all your Aussie Hero Friends.

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