Well, we have both feet in the New Year, 2023, now. The CPN Veterans Organization’s Color Guard has a lot of parades, presenting the Colors at special events and doing U.S. Flag special education programs for the local schools lined up. We shall be very busy this year. My wife and I were so busy during the holiday season that we almost missed it when we blinked. But we have great plans for 2023 to make it better than the last. I also have a very special gift for the readers of my reports. It is a Christmas piece written by a young U.S. Marine who was serving overseas away from his home and loved ones as many of us have done during our military service. He requested that it be shared with everyone to remember these personnel on duty for their country in other lands… or just away from their homes. Read it and share, please.

‘Twas the night before Christmas,
He lived all alone,
In a one-bedroom house made of plaster and stone.
I had come down the chimney
With presents to give,
And to see just who
In this home did live.
I looked all about,
A strange sight I did see.
No tinsel, no presents,
Not even a tree.
No stocking by mantle,
Just boots filled with sand.
On the wall hung pictures
Of far-distant lands.
With medals and badges,
Awards of all kinds,
A sober thought
Came through my mind.
For this house was different,
It was dark and dreary.
I found the home of a Soldier,
Once I could see clearly.
The Soldier lay sleeping,
Silent, alone,
Curled up on the floor
In this one-bedroom home.
The face was so gentle,
The room in such disorder,
Not how I pictured
A United States Soldier.
Was this the hero
Of whom I’d just read?
Curled up on poncho,
The floor for a bed?
I realized the families
That I saw this night,
Owed their lives to these soldiers
Who were willing to fight.
Soon round the world,
The children would play,
And grown ups would celebrate
A bright Christmas day
Because of the soldiers,
Like the one lying here.
I couldn’t help wonder,
How many lay alone,
On a cold Christmas Eve
In a land far from home?
The very thought
Brought a tear to my eye,
I dropped to my knees
And started to cry.
The soldier awakened
And I heard a rough voice,
“Santa don’t cry,
This life is my choice;
I fight for freedom.
I don’t ask for more.
My life is my God,
My country, my Corps.”
The soldier rolled over
And drifted to sleep.
I couldn’t control it;
I continued to weep.
I kept watch for hours,
So silent and still
And both shivered
From the cold night’s chill.
I didn’t want to leave
On that cold, dark night,
This Guardian of Honor
So willing to fight.
Then the Soldier rolled over,
With a voice soft and pure,
Whispered, “Carry on Santa,
It’s Christmas Day, all is secure.”
One look at my watch,
And I knew he was right.
“Merry Christmas my friend,
And to all a good night.”

(Thank you)!

Remember: our monthly meeting of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation Veterans Organization is the 4th Tuesday of each month, February 28 (unless otherwise notified due to weather or conflicting events) at 6 p.m. (or as soon as you can get there) in the North Reunion Hall on the CPN Powwow Grounds. All CPN Veterans and spouses and their families are welcome. Membership in the Veterans organization is not required; come and visit us and enjoy our socializing. For more information you can contact Daryl Talbot.

Daryl Talbot, Commander