Items I've found or that have been submitted by listeners
A Different Christmas Poem
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 eyes 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 Marine, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
All dressed in cammies, 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 "Its 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 'Pearl 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 American 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 sister and brother...
Who stand at the front against any and all,
To ensure 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.
I Am Coming
I am a Naval Aviator.
I was born and raised in a small town in New England. I come from a family of five. I was raised in a middle class home and taught my values by my mother and father. My dad worked a series of jobs in finance and my Mom took care of us kids. We were not an overly religious family but attended church most Sundays. It was a nice small Episcopal Church. I have a brother and sister and I am the youngest in my family. I was the first in many generations to attend college.
I have flown Naval aircraft for 16 years. For me the flying was never a lifelong dream or a "calling," it just happened. I needed a job and I liked the challenge. I continue to do it today because I feel it is important to give back to a nation which has given so much to me. I do it because although I will never be rich, my family will be comfortable. I do it because many of my friends have left for the airlines and someone has to do it.
My government has spent millions to train me to fly these multimillion dollar aircraft. I make about 70,000 dollars a year and after 20 years will be offered a pension.
I like baseball but think the players make too much money. I am in awe of firemen and policemen and what they do each day for my community, and like teachers, they just don't get paid enough.
I respect my elders and always use sir or ma'am when addressing a stranger.
I'm not sure about kids these days but I think that's normal for every generation.
I voted for George Bush not for his IQ but because I like him. I think I made a pretty good choice.
I tell you all this because when I come for you, I want you to know me. I won't be hiding behind a woman or a child. I won't be disguised or pretending to be something I am not. I will be in a US issue flight suit.
I will be wearing standard US issue flight gear, and I will be flying a navy aircraft clearly marked as a US warplane.
I wish we could meet up close in a small room where I could wrap my hands around your throat and slowly squeeze the life out of you but; unfortunately, you're hiding in a hole in the ground so we will have to do this a different way.
I want you to know also that I am very good at what I do. I can put a 2,000 LB weapon through a window from 10,000 feet up. I generally only fly at night so you may want to start sleeping during the day. I am not eager to die for my country but I am willing to sacrifice my life to protect it from animals like you.
I will do everything in my power to ensure no civilians are hurt as I take aim at you.
My countrymen are a forgiving bunch. Many are already forgetting what you did on Sept 11th. But I will not forget, and my President will not forget.
I am coming. I hope you know me a little bit better, see you soon...sleep tight.
Signed..... a US Navy Pilot