A Christmas Salute

  • Published
  • By James Taylor
  • 509th Bomb Wing Demand Reduction Office

Twas the night before the Christmas, I went home for leave;
Being with friends and family, almost too much to believe!
I was in the Air Force with a mission to get done;
I looked forward to this break so I could have some fun.

I had just returned back from a stint in Iraq;
Being away from home; Gosh it was great to be back!
Dad was tired from the bustle, the cat nestled in his lap;
He was just settling down for his afternoon nap.

When out in front yard there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my chair to see what was the matter.
Away to the front door I flew like a flash,
Tripped over my brother, and fell with a crash.

The moon on the breast of the new fallen snow
Gave a luster of midday to our house below.
When what to my wandering eyes should appear;
But my old high school buddies to go out and drink beer.

It was great to see them, best of friends till the end;
Not much had changed except of my country to defend.
Then my best friend pulled out a joint to pass and smoke;
"It's time for some Christmas spirit", he said with a toke.

It was then that I realized; a lot of things were different;
I was not back in high school, I now had a commitment.
An oath of Duty, honor, country; I finally had a career;
Was it worth risking for a joint and some beer?

All in a split second these thoughts were mitigated;
It wasn't back then, but was now that I graduated!
I sized up the situation like I would on the job;
Got everyone home safely - What a messed up mob!

Back home, I told dad what happened that night;
I explained I was different; I was trying to do right.
With a tear in his eye and a twist of his head;
He looked straight at me and this is what he said.

Your commitment to country is something I rejoice;
But I'm much prouder of the fact that you made the right choice.
To receive Dad's praise was a gift and I realized he was right;
"Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!'"