Merry Christmas, Protectors of Freedom!

It’s that time of year when gathering with family is not only a blessing but a must. However, not all are able to spend time with their families, and many are spending time away to protect us and give us the opportunity to do just that. Of course, I’m talking about our military personnel, who will be far away during this holiday season. I remember the times that I was in the United States Navy and had to spend time away from family. Even though I was proud to do so, Christmas time was a very hard time to be away.

I want to thank our military (especially those serving overseas during this holiday season) for protecting our country. I was recently given a poem by a shipmate (Stephen Holmstrom) who served, as I did, on board the USS Charleston (LKA 113) Even though this poem was written for sailors, I believe it will hold a special place in the hearts of all our armed forces.

The poem I am about to share has been rewritten many times through the years by various people for magazines and such. I, too, have changed a few words to fit my thoughts. I have researched this poem, and as of this point, I have not been able to find the original author. For now, I will put the author as “unknown” and will change this to honor the original writer if I find out who it is. If you, my readers, know who the original author is, please let me know so I can add his or her name to the credits. Until that time is known, I will continue to show it as an unknown author. I hope you enjoy this poem as much as I have, and have a Merry Christmas!

“A Sailors Christmas”

Sailors in racks (in berthing area) of Navy ship
U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 2nd Class Jayme Pastoric. (RELEASED)

Twas the night before Christmas, the ship was out steaming,
Sailors stood watch while others were dreaming.
They lived in a crowd with racks tight and small,
In an 80-man bunk, cramped one and all.
I had come down the stack with presents to give.
And to see inside, just who might perhaps live.
I looked all around; a strange sight did I see,
No tinsel, no presents, not even a tree.
No stockings were hung, shined boots were close at hand,
On the bulkhead hung pictures of a faraway land.
They had medals and badges and awards of all kinds.
And a sobering thought came into my mind.
For this place was different, so dark and so dreary,
I had found the bed of a sailor once my vision started clearing.
This sailor lay sleeping, silent, and alone.
Curled up in a rack and dreaming of home.
His face was so gentle, the room squared away,
This was the United States Sailor of today.
This was the hero I saw on TV,
This is one of many defending our country so we can be free.
I realized the families that I would visit this night,
owed their lives to these sailors, who lay willing to fight.
Soon round the world, the children would play,
And grownups would celebrate this Christmas Day.
They all enjoyed freedom each day of the year.
because of the sailors, like the one lying here.
I couldn’t help but wonder how many lay alone.
On a cold Christmas Eve, I was on a ship at sea, far from home.
The very thought brought a tear to my eye.
I dropped to my knees and started to cry.
The sailor awakened, and I heard a calm voice,
“Santa, don’t cry; this life is my choice.”
“Defending the seas all days of the year,
“So others may live and be free with no fear.”
I thought for a moment, “What a difficult road.”
to live a life guided by honor and code.
After all, it’s Christmas Eve and the ship’s underway!
But freedom isn’t free, and it’s the sailors who pay.
The sailor says to our country, “Be free and sleep tight,
No harm will come, not on my watch or this night.
The sailor rolled over and drifted to sleep,
I couldn’t control it; I continued to weep.
I kept watch for hours—so silent, so still.
I watched as the sailor shivered from the night’s cold chill.
I didn’t want to leave on that cold, dark night.
This guardian of honor is so willing to fight.
The sailor rolled over and, with a voice strong and sure,
Carry on, Santa; all is secure!

Original author “unknown”

Have a Merry Christmas, Protectors of Freedom!!

2 responses to “Merry Christmas, Protectors of Freedom!”

  1. Aww. It’s a beautiful poem. I love it🤭 merry Christmas. 🎄

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for reading, Merry Christmas to you as well.


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