T’was The Night Before Christmas – But Not What You Expect


T’was the night before Christmas,
He lived all alone,
In a one bedroom house,
Made of Plaster ad 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 the mantel,
Just boots filed 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.

His face was so gentle,
The room in disorder,
Not how I pictured
A true American Soldier.

Was this the hero,
Of whom I’d just read?
Curled up on a poncho,
The floor for a bed?

I realized the families,
That I saw this night,
Owed their lives to this Soldier,
Who was willing to fight.

Soon round the world,
The children would play,
And grownups would celebrate,
A bright Christmas day.

They all enjoy freedom,
Each month of the year,
Because of the soldiers,
Like the one lying here.

I couldn’t help but 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 we both shivered,
From the cold night’s chill.

I did not 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.”

 

This poem was written by a Peacekeeping soldier stationed overseas. The following is his request. I think it is reasonable.

PLEASE. Would you do me the kind favor of sending this to as many people as you can? Christmas will be coming soon and some credit is due to all of the service men and women for our being able to celebrate these festivities. Let’s try in this small way to pay a tiny bit of what we owe. Make people stop and think of our heroes, living and dead, who sacrificed themselves for us. Please, do your small part to plant this small seed.

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Pallbearers For Homeless Veterans


Reposted from Sunny Skyz

lpz3u-high-school-pall-bearers

Michigan high school students are redefining the term “extracurricular activity.”

In addition to club meetings, band practices and football games, University of Detroit Jesuit High School and Academy teens are also signing up to serve as pallbearers for homeless veterans.

Six students recently volunteered to be pallbearers for three dead homeless veterans.

Senior Joshua Gonzales is one of the student leaders who helped develop the program. He said this new opportunity for students is “meant to help dignify and respect the human being.”

The students’ initial plan was to carry the caskets for homeless individuals, said the Rev. Karl Kiser, the school president. But after working with local funeral home A.J. Desmond & Sons, the students narrowed their focus to the largest group of homeless people in need of the pallbearing service: unclaimed veterans.

More than 50 students attended the first training session at the beginning of the month, a number that surprised funeral director Kevin Desmond, who said he expected no more than 20.

“It tells a lot about their character, how they care for other people without those there for them,” Desmond said.

Pope Francis’ recent visit to Philadelphia acted as motivation for Junior Noah Tylutki.

“I thought that being a pallbearer for forgotten veterans was a great way to be a witness to Pope Francis’ message,” Tylutki said.

The idea began two years ago when Director of Service Todd Wilson took a group of students to St. Ignatius High School in Cleveland, where a similar program is in place.

Initially, the idea didn’t take off, Wilson said. “We wanted the students to want to do it. Interest was renewed and a group of student leaders worked over the summer to develop a training program as a pallbearer.”

A second training session for students interested in the pallbearer program is expected to be offered in November, according to Wilson.

The Final Inspection


The_Final_Inspection

The soldier stood and faced his God,
Which must always come to pass;
He hoped his shoes were shining bright,
Just as brightly as his brass.

“Step forward now, soldier,
How shall I deal with you?
Have you turned the other cheek?
To my church have you been true?”

The soldier squared his shoulders and said,
“No, Lord, I guess I ain’t;
Because those of us who carry guns,
Can’t always be a saint.

I’ve had to work most Sundays,
And at times my talk was rough;
I’ve had to break your rules my Lord,
Because the world is awfully tough.

But, I never took a thing
That wasn’t mine to keep;
Though I worked a lot of overtime,
When the bills got just too steep.

And I never passed a cry for help,
Though at times I shook with fear;
And sometimes … God forgive me,
I’ve wept unmanly tears.

I know I don’t deserve a place
Among the people here;
They never wanted me around,
Except to calm their fears.

If you’ve a place for me here, Lord,
It needn’t be so grand;
I never expected or had too much,
But if you don’t, I’ll understand.”

There was a silence all around the throne,
Where the saints often trod;
As the soldier waited quietly,
For the judgment of his God.

“Step forward now, soldier,
You’ve borne your burdens well;
Come walk peacefully on Heaven’s streets,
You’ve done your time in HELL!”

~ Author: Sgt.Joshua Helterbran ~

Who Packed Your Parachute Today


Reposted from God’s Little Acre

Charles Plumb, a U.S. Naval Academy graduate, was a jet pilot in Vietnam. After 75 combat missions, his plane was destroyed by a surface-to-air missile. Plumb ejected and parachuted into enemy hands. He was captured and spent 6 years in a communist Vietnamese prison. He survived the ordeal and now lectures on lessons learned from that experience.

One day, when Plumb and his wife were sitting in a restaurant, a man at another table came up and said, “You’re Plumb! You flew jet fighters in Vietnam from the aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk. You were shot down!” “How in the world did you know that?” asked Plumb. “I packed your parachute,” the man replied. Plumb gasped in surprise and gratitude. The man pumped his hand and said, “I guess it worked!” Plumb assured him, “It sure did. If your chute hadn’t worked, I wouldn’t be here today.”

Plumb couldn’t sleep that night, thinking about that man. Plumb says, “I kept wondering what he might have looked like in a Navy uniform: a white hat, a bib in the back, and bell-bottom trousers. I wonder how many times I might have seen him and not even said ‘Good morning,’ ‘how are you?’ or anything because, you see, I was a fighter pilot and he was just a sailor.” Plumb thought of the many hours the sailor had spent on a long wooden table in the bowels of the ship, carefully weaving the shrouds and folding the silks of each chute, holding in his hands each time the fate of someone he didn’t know.

Now, Plumb asks his audience, “Who’s packing your parachute?” Everyone has someone who provides what they need to make it through the day. Plumb also points out that he needed many kinds of parachutes when his plane was shot down over enemy territory — he needed his physical parachute, his mental parachute, his emotional parachute, and his spiritual parachute. He called on all these supports before reaching safety.

Sometimes in the daily challenges that life gives us, we miss what is really important. We may fail to say hello, please, or thank you, congratulate someone on something wonderful that has happened to them, give a compliment, or just do something nice for no reason. As you go through this week, this month, this year, recognize people who pack your parachute.

Freedom is not Free – A Soldier’s Pledge


Thank God for our Veterans and Active Duty Personnel now serving.  Please say a prayer to keep them safe and to heal their wounds, both seen and unseen.

Atheists Want War Memorial Torn Down


Bladensburg Cross

Reposted from RedState via The Dog Wagging Tail

Last month, the American Humanist Association sued to have this war memorial torn down. Why? Because the memorial is in the shape of a cross.

In 1925, the people of Prince George County, Maryland, erected a memorial to honor the 49 brave residents of their town who fought and died to preserve our freedom. The Bladensburg Cross, or “Peace Cross” as it became known, has stood since that day as a testament to the heroism, the sacrifice, that these brave young men displayed fighting for America – fighting for our freedom.

That is until one angry atheist, literally riding his bike around town, discovered the cross. He was “shocked” at the sight of the cross and “upset” that the cross could possibly be displayed to honor our nation’s veterans.

Yet, he and a couple of other angry atheists, along with the American Humanist Association, after the shock had subsided a bit I supposed (it took them since 1982 to finally do something about it), filed a federal lawsuit a couple weeks ago, calling the cross a constitutional violation and demanding that the cross be torn down.

The lawsuit actually alleges that because the war memorial is located on what they claim is public property near a busy intersection that at least one of the plaintiffs passes “about once a month” driving around town or on his bike, it “associates a Christian religious symbol with the State and gives the impression that the State supports
and approves of Christianity, as opposed to other religions, and that the state may even prefer Christians and Christianity over other religions.” One of the plaintiffs actually says that he is “personally offended and feels excluded” because the cross honors our nation’s veterans.

In fact, the lawsuit states that he was “shocked when he first saw the cross and it upsets him whenever he passes it.”

Each of the plaintiffs complains of “unwelcome contact” with the WWI memorial cross and tell the court they “do[] not wish to encounter the Bladensburg Cross in the future.” In other words, they want it torn down.

It’s just one more example of angry atheists who become so easily offended by the very sight or even the existence of something they supposedly don’t believe in.

Of course the cross has long been a symbol of sacrifice and has stood in honor of war heroes for centuries. Imagine their “shock” if they ever visited Arlington National Cemetery a few miles away in Virginia.

In fact, the Supreme Court has recognized that “a Latin cross is not merely a reaffirmation of Christian beliefs. It is a symbol often used to honor and respect those whose heroic acts, noble contributions, and patient striving help secure an honored place in history for this Nation and its people.”

This could not be more true than in the case of this nearly 90-year-old WWI memorial, meant to honor 49 specific men of valor who gave their last full measure for a grateful nation.

The fact of the matter is that a war memorial, symbolized by a cross, does not constitute a constitutional crisis.

Every time an angry atheist sees a symbol with which he or she disagrees, their first step is to rush to court. They conflate their feelings with the Constitution. As I’ve said before, the Constitution is not an atheist manifesto.

To tear this war memorial cross to the ground because the idea of it hurts some atheist’s feelings does a disservice to the very ones who gave their lives for this nation. They gave their lives so that everyone could be free – so that anyone would be free to believe or disbelieve as they so choose. To tear down their memorial, dishonors their memory.

At the ACLJ, we will be filing an amicus (friend-of-the-court) brief in this case, defending the cross and honoring those for whom it stands.

In a bit of disturbing irony, when the angry atheists first demanded the cross be torn down, they wrote a letter to the managing authorities asserting, “When considering this matter, you will likely hear from a loud and self-righteous portion of the populace that seeks to see its particular religious symbols preferred by the state.”

It is in fact a small but loud and self-righteous portion of the populace who wish to eradicate any religious symbol in our society with which they disagree, regardless of who it hurts or dishonors, because they have deemed it “offensive.”

But if they want to hear a loud voice, I think it’s time they and their 24,800 members hear from the American people.

The veterans of WWI are no longer here to defend their memorial, yet the price they paid gives us the freedom to defend it for them. If you don’t want this WWI memorial torn down, sign onto our brief today.