Remember Our Troops, Now and Forever

remember-our-troops

Overnight, going into Tuesday, 12/22/15, I received a really fascinating poetic seasonal tribute to the service of our military to the rest of us Americans. It was sent to George Comiskey, one of my classmates from the St. Thomas High School in Houston Class of 1956, by an old friend named Patrick McEnroe, but there had been no specific identification of the work’s author.

That being said, here’s how George Comiskey presented the e-mail gift to me and a mass list of other recipients: “Thank you Admiral Patrick McEnroe, my shipmate on the USS Howard D. Crow Galveston Bay, from Admiral George A. Comiskey Texas Navy and the U.S. Navy, Merry Christmas and Happy New Years.” ~ George Comiskey.

George latter added these details about his friendship history with Patrick McEnroe, adding his own resolve to help find the name of the poem’s author: “Admiral Pat McEnroe graduated from Stephen F. Austin High school (Houston). We met when I was a junior at St. Thomas and joined the Naval Reserve and Pat was in my class at the Naval Reserves. Pat’s son graduated from St. Thomas and went to the Air Force Academy and just retired from the Air Force. As an enlisted man, I had appointments to the Naval Academy and Air Force Academy. I chose the Naval Academy, where I served with Bill Gillespie from the class of 1955. I will find out Pat’s source of the poem.”

I forwarded the poem package to a number of you Tuesday morning, but your resounding positive reaction told me loudly that this piece truly deserved its own place as a Pecan Park Eagle Christmas tribute column to our military service people, complete with all the photos (except for the last one, added here) that had been worked into the cyber space presentation by its unnamed visual creator.

In time, when the author’s identity is learned, it will be added here. The writer who heard the muses for the sake of bringing life to this beautifully “different Christmas poem” deserves both our credit and appreciation.

Along the way, so far, we have been able to also clarify the side issue  that our George Comiskey, indeed, is a distant cousin of Charles Comiskey, the Baseball Hall of Fame player and early twentieth century owner of the Chicago White Sox. George explained his connection in these words:

“Charles Comiskey (of the Baseball Hall of Fame and Chicago Whites Sox ownership note) is my Grandfather James Comiskey’s cousin from Ireland. I was raised a White Sox fan in Cleveland.” – George Comiskey.

George left out the part of his family moving to Houston in time for his attendance and graduation from dear old St. Thomas.

A very special tribute and expression of gratitude flows from this work for those few of us who are specially called to defend the rest of us. This poem is not about the politicians and leaders who make mistakes with both our use, and non-use, of military power. It is about all the glorious men and women in uniform who give up their lives to the idea that America is deserving of their service, even if it means surrendering their own lives for the greater good.

Read it well. And listen mindfully to its message.

We cannot thank you enough, men and women of our American military services. Indeed, each of you who faithfully serves this nation are the polar opposites of those whose  base personal greed dictates all.

 

Peace and Love to All at Christmas Time!

c1-unnamed

A Different Christmas Poem

By Author Unknown (For Now, 12/22/2015)

c2mail.google.com

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.

c3 mail.google.com

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 slumbered I, perhaps I started to dream.

c4 mail.google.com

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.

c5 mail.google.com

A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
Perhaps a Trooper, 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.”​

c6 mail.google.com

 

“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 in Europe on a day in December,
Then he said, “That’s a Christmas ‘Gram always remembers.”
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 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.

c7 mail.google.com

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.”

_____________________

carol18cb

 

EPSON MFP image

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2 Responses to “Remember Our Troops, Now and Forever”

  1. Dennis Corcoran Says:

    Very touching and nice this Christmas season.

  2. Davis Barker .... Jacksonville, Texas Says:

    Yep … Standing in the Gap …

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