The Greatest Gift

The Greatest Gift

The Greatest Gift

Today, as families across the country and in faraway lands wake to celebrate the joy of Christmas and the blessing of the company of those they love, our thoughts here at GovX are with you … the men and women of our armed forces, fire service, law enforcement, first responders and the countless others who have served and continue to serve our great nation at home and abroad. We take pause to recognize you, to honor those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice and to acknowledge the families who have anguish or longing in their hearts for just one gift under the tree this year.

We recognize that if not for you this very moment would not be possible...

We recognize the sacrifices that you and your families make so that we may see the joy in our own children’s eyes on Christmas morning...

We recognize that service is the greatest gift that one can bestow on another human being…

We recognize that mere words do not begin to express our love and appreciation for your service…

And we recognize you and all you do so that we may enjoy not only this Christmas Day but each and every day.

 

A Different Christmas Poem

(A Tribute to All Who Serve)

The embers glowed softly and in their dim light,

I gazed round the room and 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 soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,

perhaps a Marine, 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 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 alright.”

“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.”

- U.S. Servicemember

On behalf of all of us here at GOVX..We wish you a Merry Christmas and a safe and blessed New Year.

Leave a comment:

Janet W.

12/24/2014 8:16 AM

Thank you for sharing this poem. And a heartfelt thanks & to all who serve. You are appreciated!!!

joseph p.

12/24/2014 8:19 AM

Wonderful ! Thanks !

Stephen M.

12/24/2014 8:25 AM

Semper Fi

Matthew O.

12/24/2014 8:26 AM

I'm not a fan of Christmas, but that is one of the most touching poems I've ever read. Thank you and happy holidays to everyone at GovX and all my brothers and sisters in arms all over the world.

Alex S.

12/24/2014 8:31 AM

Lovely expression! Thanks and Merry Christmas!

A J W.

12/24/2014 8:36 AM

Awesome Poem! 'Nough Said!

Michael M.

12/24/2014 8:49 AM

Thank you for your support and for remembering all those who signed their name to that blank check for the some up to and including their lives.

Daniel C.

12/24/2014 8:51 AM

TRUE SACRIFICE . That's what Christ did. That's what we do. This poem was AMAZING. Merry Christmas to all, and to all you love too. Hooah

Darren D.

12/24/2014 8:57 AM

Thank you and Merry Christmas to all.

Robert B.

12/24/2014 9:09 AM

Our freedoms and liberty come from those who are willing to fight for them, not a faceless bureaucracy. Thanks for this poem that reminds us as to who is guarding what we hold dear.

Jonathan N.

12/24/2014 9:13 AM

Wow!

Garry W.

12/24/2014 9:25 AM

To the folks at GOVX, have a safe and very happy Christmas and may the New Year bring you and your families great wealth and continued happiness!!

Robert S.

12/24/2014 9:42 AM

Airborne! Merry Christmas to all!

Keith B.

12/24/2014 10:18 AM

Thank you, so very much.

Michael C.

12/24/2014 10:46 AM

Very well written. Thank you to all who have served and are serving now. Thanks to all our police and fire rescue officers. May GOD bless you all. Merry Christmas

shandranque M.

12/24/2014 11:39 AM

this poem Brought joy to my soul, I am honored to be a Marine Corps wife and a mother too, thank you for all you have done to acknowledge our families we will do it any time our country needs it.MERRY CHRISTMAS GOV X

Dean F.

12/24/2014 12:03 PM

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all. Thank you to all who have given some and some who have given all.

Rudy G.

12/24/2014 12:35 PM

What a fantastic poem! Thank you for sharing it. Had to fight back the tears of pride and because of the sacrifice that our soldiers make so we can sleep peacefully at night. Army vet and proud step-father of a Marine.

Ronald B.

12/24/2014 12:49 PM

Semper Fi to all my brothers and sisters, a Merry Christmas and happy holidays to all my other comrades in arms regardless of branch of service.

Aaron G.

12/24/2014 1:14 PM

I love the poem, thank you for sharing. For me this is the first Christmas where I don't have to work.

Trevin M.

12/24/2014 1:24 PM

Merry Christmas! To all of those in harms way, watch out for each other and I pray for God to protect each and every one of you! Watch your six, cover your brothers and sisters, and come home safely at the end of your tour!

Victor C.

12/24/2014 1:35 PM

Thanks for sharing this poem. It's awesome to here those words from a caring heart! I want to wish Merry Christmas to all my brothers a sisters who are in harms way during this time. I pray for peace and comfort while you are away.

Philip J. M.

12/24/2014 2:09 PM

T'WAS 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 DISORDER, NOT HOW I PICTURED, A TRUE BRITISH SOLDIER. WAS THIS THE HERO, OF WHOM I'D JUST READ? CURLED UP ON A PONCHO, THE FLOOR FOR A BED? I REALISED 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. THEY ALL ENJOYED FREEDOM, EACH MONTH OF THE YEAR, 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 WE BOTH SHIVERED, FROM THE COLD NIGHT'S CHILL. I DID NOT WANT TO LEAVE, ON THAT COLD, DARK NIGHT, THIS GUARDIAN OF HONOUR, 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.

Larry U.

12/24/2014 2:14 PM

That brought tears to my eyes. Thank you

jibril a.

12/24/2014 2:19 PM

I am not a military man, but a first responder, and I want to sincerely thank all you who serve and protect us. Thank you and a happy holidays.

Charlton K.

12/24/2014 3:46 PM

I love this Christmas Poem! I wish that it were published more widely. Far too many people mid out or have forgotten about the s the college individual soldier, marine, air man, seaman, or Coast guardsman! Any and all Veterans, whether active, reserve, or retired, have all written & signed a blank check saying that he or she will give everything up to and including his or her life to every American citizen to protect their lives from any enemy, foreign or domestic(as in the threat currently in the White House)!!!!!

Douglas F.

12/24/2014 3:56 PM

That poem was GREAT. It brought a tear to my eye.Merry Christmas.

Richard F.

12/24/2014 4:13 PM

I was in the military in the 50s and 60s and my served in Iraq. After I left the service I got into law enforcement and now I am old and broken, I watch over my and do what I can. Even though I am almost 75 and use a cane I stand to salute the flag and I do not bow down for I love my country and my family and my country so those with weak knees step aside because I come thru to stop those who want to do harm to me and mine and that's who I am. Merry Christmas and God Bless

Antonio B.

12/24/2014 4:26 PM

Semper Fi!

Kyle B.

12/24/2014 6:04 PM

Oorah

Eric S.

12/24/2014 6:11 PM

Thanks !

Troy N.

12/24/2014 6:31 PM

Thanks for the Poem. As a retired Air Force Pararescue, still serving in Afghanistan this holiday season, its companies and people like you at GovX that make our plight a bit easier. So, thank you! I wish each and everyone a Merry Christmas and a Joyous New Year. God Bless! Troy Naquin

James L.

12/24/2014 6:50 PM

May the Jesus Bless all that stand guard for us on this cold Christmas Eve and every other day of the year!!!! Just say Thanks and really mean it. This is a well written and heartfelt poem. We must support our police and firemen as well because they are on the front lines also!!!

Anthony R.

12/24/2014 7:03 PM

God bless you, for seeing the truth. Merry Christmas.

David S.

12/24/2014 7:16 PM

Semore fi

Richard W.

12/24/2014 8:06 PM

That was beautiful. Merry Christmas.

Gayle M.

12/24/2014 8:16 PM

Thank you, I will keep this to share. I think all who have served has a tear in their eye.

Michael R.

12/24/2014 8:24 PM

Puts a whole new spin on this season & the things to remember

Lenford N.

12/24/2014 9:12 PM

Thank you for sharing this poem God bless and Merry Christmas!!!

Aaron M.

12/24/2014 9:24 PM

Wow. That was powerful

Erin A.

12/24/2014 11:06 PM

Thank you GovX! Brought warmth to my heart, Merry Christmas to you. I am a fire fighter, EMT and soldier, and I can't thank you enough for your dedication to all of us. Have a blessed new year.

Michael E.

12/24/2014 11:14 PM

Thank you and Merry Christmas!

Sandra G.

12/25/2014 1:55 AM

I served in the Coast Guard in 82, and the words of your poem still ring true, It hurt, it's hard and sometimes you don't think you will make it, but you keep going on because you know what you are fighting for and the cost of not fighting. This poem touched me deeply and I thank you.

James S.

12/25/2014 2:06 AM

Thank you for your warm thoughts. I know I considered it an honor to be able to serve my country. Similar to the poem; my father served in Korea & my son was in Iraq.

pedro o.

12/25/2014 5:21 AM

Thank you for those kind words and poem. Merry Christmas to all of you and your families

Marcus F.

12/25/2014 5:32 AM

That Poem says it All about my Brother's in Arms. Those that did not make it back from the Harm of War, my Family for as far back as I can count, Served this Country for countless nights. We were the Lucky Few who made it through. I always remember them that did Not! Peace is what we strive for even if we have to go to War. Blessings and Peace to Everyone this Christmas Morn.

Donald H.

12/25/2014 6:45 AM

Wonderful poem! Merry Christmas to all our servicemen past and present. We all served with pride and dignity.

Obira G.

12/25/2014 7:49 AM

What a beautiful poem! Thank you so much for sharing this. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Paul H.

12/25/2014 9:08 AM

Well said. Merry Christmas to everyone! Thanks to everyone that has served our wonderful country. Paul H

Henry V.

12/25/2014 9:36 AM

One of the best poems I've ever read

Manuel F.

12/25/2014 10:02 AM

Thank you for thinking of those who are serving a post right now away from family and friends.

Raymond S.

12/25/2014 5:45 PM

Hooah

Michael M.

12/25/2014 10:11 PM

Christmas is my favorite time of the year, but it is the service men that have come before me that have secured that freedom that I get to share with my other brothers and sisters in arms. God bless us all as we take our turn standing watch. LT

Bob F.

12/26/2014 12:13 PM

Great poem! Thanks for sharing. God bless our men and women in uniformed services and may God bless the United States in our battle against all enemies, foreign and domestic.

Cecilia S.

12/27/2014 1:13 PM

This poem always gives me the chills. Our Military is just like that!