Tag Archives: sacrifice

A Soldier’s Christmas Wish

Let’s never forget those whose sacrifices make us free and able to celebrate and worship as we please in this holiday season as well as the rest of the year. Published in the Magic City Morning Star December 24, 2009, this work really captures the feeling.  Transcript is posted below the video.

This poem was written by an Australian Peacekeeping stationed overseas. His request, send this to as many people as you can.  Credit is due to all of the service men and women for our being able to celebrate Christmas.  Let’s try to pay a bit of what we owe to these heroes.

Soldier’s Christmas Wish

By Unknown Original Author
 
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 United States) 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 grownups 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.”
 

(Thank you Herta for sending this to me.  God bless!)

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Operation Watchtower – Guadalcanal 1942

Throughout the first half of 1942, Japanese forces had captured islands, established bases, and cut off most of the supply lines to U.S. allies Australia and New Zealand.  Guadalcanal, its airfield, and several nearby smaller islands nearby were key pieces in the Japanese effort to project their power across the South Pacific.  U.S. Admiral Earnest King came up with a plan to not just halt the advance but to seize the initiative from Imperial forces in the pacific.  That plan was called Operation Watchtower.

Eight months to the day after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, 11,000 United States Marines supported by the Navy struck the first offensive blow against the Imperial Japanese.  Approaching in bad weather, the initial landings of the Battle of Guadalcanal went nearly unopposed.  Moving on from the beach, Marines found themselves swallowed by the “green hell” of the inland jungle.  Their early goal of capturing the airfield was accomplished with light casualties.  The six-week planned duration for the operation was seeming overly pessimistic.

However, on the seas and in the air, a fierce battle was raging.  Dozens of aircraft were lost on both sides as naval forces hunted each other in the tropical waters.  Concerned over fuel levels and equipment losses, it was decided that the American aircraft carriers be pulled back.  Without air cover, the invasion’s support ships were soon savaged by Imperial naval forces based out of Rabaul.  U.S. naval forces were forced to abandon the island to seek the protection of the carrier group.  With only 14-days of supplies and almost no heavy equipment, the Marines on Guadalcanal were on their own.

Dysentery, malaria, and the tropical heat would savage the allies as much as Japanese forces would.  Approximately one-in-five soldiers was struck down by one ailment or another.  Despite this, work continued on the airfield.  By August 20th, the first Marine aircraft arrived to support their brothers on the ground.  Perimeters expanded and patrols sought out and skirmished with scattered Japanese resistance.  It was thought that Imperial forces might soon be willing to surrender in the face of the successful invasion.  Ground commanders didn’t know that Guadalcanal’s defenders would soon be receiving ground, sea, and air reinforcements.

The struggle for Guadalcanal would stretch on for six moths.  During the campaign, approximately 31,000 Japanese and 7,100 Allied troops would lose their lives.  With the final victory, Japanese forces had been halted at the furthest point of their advance.  For the remainder of the war, Japanese forces would steadily be driven back and back.

For a great period movie about the battle, check out Guadalcanal Diary starring Preston Foster, Lloyd Nolan, William Bendix, Richard Conte, and Anthony Quinn.

The ‘Lone Soldiers’ of the IDF

Taken from The Bookwork Room.  Go read the whole thing.

*****

Before this war, I’d never head the phrase “lone soldier,” although the concept is not new to me. A lone soldier is a person who does not live in Israel, but who travels to Israel to volunteer in her military as she fights for survival. Indeed, I knew an American who, in 1973, traveled to Israel and ended up being in one of the first tanks in the Golan. Nice guy and a very decent human being.

Currently almost 2,000 lone soldiers are serving in the IDF.

The fact that they are not Israelis has not kept these lone soldiers out of the fight. The grandson of Rite Aid’s founder was wounded, although thankfully this brave young man, who walked away from extraordinary riches into great danger, will recover. Sadly, neither Los Angeles native Max Steinberg, 24, and Texan Sean Carmeli, 21, will ever return home.

To die far away from home is a terrible thing, especially for the family and other loved ones left behind. The Israelis, fully cognizant of this tragedy, as well as grateful for the gift of people who donate their bravery, skills, energy, and heart to Israel, have hastened to repay the favor that Steinberg and Carmeli did for them:

With no family members nearby, there were concerns that the lone soldiers’ funerals wouldn’t be well attended, according to the Times of Israel. But 20,000 Israelis came to Carmeli’s funeral on Monday, and 30,000 attended Steinberg’s funeral Wednesday. Breitbart notes that the large attendance is especially remarkable considering that the constant threat of rocket attacks on Israel makes traveling and gathering in large crowds very risky.

There is something about dying with honor that is just incredibly heart-wrenching. I’m leaking tears all over my keyboard here.

(H/T to Ace of Spades HQ and the ONT)

A Soldier’s Christmas Wish

Let’s never forget those whose sacrifices make us free and able to celebrate and worship as we please in this holiday season as well as the rest of the year. Published in the Magic City Morning Star December 24, 2009, this work really captures the feeling.  Transcript is posted below the video.

This poem was written by an Australian Peacekeeping stationed overseas. His request, send this to as many people as you can.  Credit is due to all of the service men and women for our being able to celebrate Christmas.  Let’s try to pay a bit of what we owe to these heroes.

Soldier’s Christmas Wish

By Unknown Original Author
 
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 United States) 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 grownups 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.”
 

(Thank you Herta for sending this to me.  God bless!)

Operation Watchtower – Guadalcanal 1942

Throughout the first half of 1942, Japanese forces had captured islands, established bases, and cut off most of the supply lines to U.S. allies Australia and New Zealand.  Guadalcanal, its airfield, and several nearby smaller islands nearby were key pieces in the Japanese effort to project their power across the South Pacific.  U.S. Admiral Earnest King came up with a plan to not just halt the advance but to seize the initiative from Imperial forces in the pacific.  That plan was called Operation Watchtower.

Eight months to the day after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, 11,000 United States Marines supported by the Navy struck the first offensive blow against the Imperial Japanese.  Approaching in bad weather, the initial landings of the Battle of Guadalcanal went nearly unopposed.  Moving on from the beach, Marines found themselves swallowed by the “green hell” of the inland jungle.  Their early goal of capturing the airfield was accomplished with light casualties.  The six-week planned duration for the operation was seeming overly pessimistic.

However, on the seas and in the air, a fierce battle was raging.  Dozens of aircraft were lost on both sides as naval forces hunted each other in the tropical waters.  Concerned over fuel levels and equipment losses, it was decided that the American aircraft carriers be pulled back.  Without air cover, the invasion’s support ships were soon savaged by Imperial naval forces based out of Rabaul.  U.S. naval forces were forced to abandon the island to seek the protection of the carrier group.  With only 14-days of supplies and almost no heavy equipment, the Marines on Guadalcanal were on their own.

Dysentery, malaria, and the tropical heat would savage the allies as much as Japanese forces would.  Approximately one-in-five soldiers was struck down by one ailment or another.  Despite this, work continued on the airfield.  By August 20th, the first Marine aircraft arrived to support their brothers on the ground.  Perimeters expanded and patrols sought out and skirmished with scattered Japanese resistance.  It was thought that Imperial forces might soon be willing to surrender in the face of the successful invasion.  Ground commanders didn’t know that Guadalcanal’s defenders would soon be receiving ground, sea, and air reinforcements.

The struggle for Guadalcanal would stretch on for six moths.  During the campaign, approximately 31,000 Japanese and 7,100 Allied troops would lose their lives.  With the final victory, Japanese forces had been halted at the furthest point of their advance.  For the remainder of the war, Japanese forces would steadily be driven back and back.

For a great period movie about the battle, check out Guadalcanal Diary starring Preston Foster, Lloyd Nolan, William Bendix, Richard Conte, and Anthony Quinn.

A Soldier’s Christmas Wish

Let’s never forget those whose sacrifices make us free and able to celebrate and worship as we please in this holiday season as well as the rest of the year. Published in the Magic City Morning Star December 24, 2009, this work really captures the feeling.  Transcript is posted below the video.

This poem was written by an Australian Peacekeeping stationed overseas. His request, send this to as many people as you can.  Credit is due to all of the service men and women for our being able to celebrate Christmas.  Let’s try to pay a bit of what we owe to these heroes.

Soldier’s Christmas Wish

By Unknown Original Author
 
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 United States) 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 grownups 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.”
 

(Thank you Herta for sending this to me.  God bless!)

The ‘Lone Soldiers’ of the IDF

Taken from The Bookwork Room.  Go read the whole thing.

*****

Before this war, I’d never head the phrase “lone soldier,” although the concept is not new to me. A lone soldier is a person who does not live in Israel, but who travels to Israel to volunteer in her military as she fights for survival. Indeed, I knew an American who, in 1973, traveled to Israel and ended up being in one of the first tanks in the Golan. Nice guy and a very decent human being.

Currently almost 2,000 lone soldiers are serving in the IDF.

The fact that they are not Israelis has not kept these lone soldiers out of the fight. The grandson of Rite Aid’s founder was wounded, although thankfully this brave young man, who walked away from extraordinary riches into great danger, will recover. Sadly, neither Los Angeles native Max Steinberg, 24, and Texan Sean Carmeli, 21, will ever return home.

To die far away from home is a terrible thing, especially for the family and other loved ones left behind. The Israelis, fully cognizant of this tragedy, as well as grateful for the gift of people who donate their bravery, skills, energy, and heart to Israel, have hastened to repay the favor that Steinberg and Carmeli did for them:

With no family members nearby, there were concerns that the lone soldiers’ funerals wouldn’t be well attended, according to the Times of Israel. But 20,000 Israelis came to Carmeli’s funeral on Monday, and 30,000 attended Steinberg’s funeral Wednesday. Breitbart notes that the large attendance is especially remarkable considering that the constant threat of rocket attacks on Israel makes traveling and gathering in large crowds very risky.

There is something about dying with honor that is just incredibly heart-wrenching. I’m leaking tears all over my keyboard here.

(H/T to Ace of Spades HQ and the ONT)

A Soldier’s Christmas Wish

Let’s never forget those whose sacrifices make us free and able to celebrate and worship as we please in this holiday season as well as the rest of the year. Published in the Magic City Morning Star December 24, 2009, this work really captures the feeling.  Transcript is posted below the video.

This poem was written by an Australian Peacekeeping stationed overseas. His request, send this to as many people as you can.  Credit is due to all of the service men and women for our being able to celebrate Christmas.  Let’s try to pay a bit of what we owe to these heroes.

Soldier’s Christmas Wish

By Unknown Original Author
 
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 United States) 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 grownups 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.”
 

(Thank you Herta for sending this to me.  God bless!)

Fair Winds And Following Seas – USS Michael Murphy Commissioned

U.S. Navy SEAL Lt. Michael P. Murphy died in Kunar Province, Afghanistan June 28, 2005.  He heroically sacrificed himself in an effort to call for support and extraction of his trapped team.  If you don’t know his story, I highly recommend the book SEAL of Honor: Operation Red Wings and the Life of Lt Michael P. Murphy, USN.  Below it the citation for his award.

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as the leader of a special reconnaissance element with Naval Special Warfare Task Unit Afghanistan on 27 and 28 June 2005. While leading a mission to locate a high-level anti-coalition militia leader, Lieutenant Murphy demonstrated extraordinary heroism in the face of grave danger in the vicinity of Asadabad, Konar Province, Afghanistan. On 28 June 2005, operating in an extremely rugged enemy-controlled area, Lieutenant Murphy’s team was discovered by anti-coalition militia sympathizers, who revealed their position to Taliban fighters. As a result, between 30 and 40 enemy fighters besieged his four-member team. Demonstrating exceptional resolve, Lieutenant Murphy valiantly led his men in engaging the large enemy force. The ensuing fierce firefight resulted in numerous enemy casualties, as well as the wounding of all four members of the team. Ignoring his own wounds and demonstrating exceptional composure, Lieutenant Murphy continued to lead and encourage his men. When the primary communicator fell mortally wounded, Lieutenant Murphy repeatedly attempted to call for assistance for his beleaguered teammates. Realizing the impossibility of communicating in the extreme terrain, and in the face of almost certain death, he fought his way into open terrain to gain a better position to transmit a call. This deliberate, heroic act deprived him of cover, exposing him to direct enemy fire. Finally achieving contact with his Headquarters, Lieutenant Murphy maintained his exposed position while he provided his location and requested immediate support for his team. In his final act of bravery, he continued to engage the enemy until he was mortally wounded, gallantly giving his life for his country and for the cause of freedom. By his selfless leadership, courageous actions, and extraordinary devotion to duty, Lieutenant Murphy reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

Today (October 6, 2012), the United States Navy commissioned its latest guided-missile destroyer.  The ship has been named the USS Michael Murphy (DDG-112) in honor this brave warrior.  Below is the video promoting the commissioning.

Operation Watchtower – Guadalcanal 1942

Throughout the first half of 1942, Japanese forces had captured islands, established bases, and cut off most of the supply lines to U.S. allies Australia and New Zealand.  Guadalcanal, its airfield, and several nearby smaller islands nearby were key pieces in the Japanese effort to project their power across the South Pacific.  U.S. Admiral Earnest King came up with a plan to not just halt the advance but to seize the initiative from Imperial forces in the pacific.  That plan was called Operation Watchtower.

Eight months to the day after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, 11,000 United States Marines supported by the Navy struck the first offensive blow against the Imperial Japanese.  Approaching in bad weather, the initial landings of the Battle of Guadalcanal went nearly unopposed.  Moving on from the beach, Marines found themselves swallowed by the “green hell” of the inland jungle.  Their early goal of capturing the airfield was accomplished with light casualties.  The six-week planned duration for the operation was seeming overly pessimistic.

However, on the seas and in the air, a fierce battle was raging.  Dozens of aircraft were lost on both sides as naval forces hunted each other in the tropical waters.  Concerned over fuel levels and equipment losses, it was decided that the American aircraft carriers be pulled back.  Without air cover, the invasion’s support ships were soon savaged by Imperial naval forces based out of Rabaul.  U.S. naval forces were forced to abandon the island to seek the protection of the carrier group.  With only 14-days of supplies and almost no heavy equipment, the Marines on Guadalcanal were on their own.

Dysentery, malaria, and the tropical heat would savage the allies as much as Japanese forces would.  Approximately one-in-five soldiers was struck down by one ailment or another.  Despite this, work continued on the airfield.  By August 20th, the first Marine aircraft arrived to support their brothers on the ground.  Perimeters expanded and patrols sought out and skirmished with scattered Japanese resistance.  It was thought that Imperial forces might soon be willing to surrender in the face of the successful invasion.  Ground commanders didn’t know that Guadalcanal’s defenders would soon be receiving ground, sea, and air reinforcements.

The struggle for Guadalcanal would stretch on for six moths.  During the campaign, approximately 31,000 Japanese and 7,100 Allied troops would lose their lives.  With the final victory, Japanese forces had been halted at the furthest point of their advance.  For the remainder of the war, Japanese forces would steadily be driven back and back.

For a great period movie about the battle, check out Guadalcanal Diary starring Preston Foster, Lloyd Nolan, William Bendix, Richard Conte, and Anthony Quinn.