Friday, December 2, 2011

A Jarhead's Night Before Christmas

In my nearly 14 years in the United States Army, I spent my fair share of holidays in uniform and working. This poem pays tribute to all those who wear the uniform and serve and defend regardless of the day.

By way of clarification, for the purposes of this poem, I envisioned Santa as a member of the United States Marine Corps. In point of fact, I have no idea what branch of service he might actually favor. I would like to think that he appears to each service member in a form they can best appreciate. Again, to those that stand the walls and defend my freedom to celebrate, God bless you.

To my readers: As I have for every Christmas since I first posted this to my blog, this poem may be freely used and disseminated as you see fit. My only request would be that you give credit where it is due and name me as the source.

A Jarhead's Night Before Christmas

Twas the night before Christmas - Fallujah, Iraq.
Not a creature was stirring, we hadn't seen jack.
The weapons were stacked by the door within reach ,
In hopes that they wouldn't get sand in the breach.

The troops were all nestled down snug in their cots,
With dreams that next Christmas they'd do Toys for Tots.
And I in my skivvies and woolen watch cap,
Had just settled in for a 40-wink nap.

When out on the fenceline arose a commotion,
I sprang from my rack in a flurry of motion.
I low-crawled my way to the door in a pinch,
And peeked 'round the corner about half an inch.

The moon on the crest of each wind-shifting dune,
Lit the place up damned near bright as was at high noon.
When what to my sand-stinging eyes should appear,
But a gunmetal sleigh and eight armored reindeer.

By the way that he handled the rudder and stick,
I knew that the pilot was Gunny St. Nick.
More rapid than gunships his coursers they came,
And he cursed them all soundly and roll-called each name:

Now Eightball! Now Cowboy! Now Joker! Now Fuller!
Now Nimitz! Now Halsey! Now Dewey! Now Puller!
To the top of the fence! To the top of the wall!
Let's shag it! Let's shag it!
Let's move it out ya'll!!

As targeting lasers reach out in the night,
And hit their objective at speeds close to light
They shot towards the barracks as speedy as hell,
With their cargo intact and the Gunny as well.

And then in a twinkling I heard on the roof,
The synchronized pace of each marking-time hoof.
And before I could guess at the Gunny's next tricks,
He crashed through the wall in a shower of bricks.

He was dressed all in camo from cap down to boot,
With his uniform tarnished with cordite and soot.
A ginormous ruck he set down on the deck,
And he looked like a MEF just unloading their tech.

His eyes - how they smoldered! His visage - how freaky!
His cheeks red as coals and his nose rather beaky.
His slash of a mouth was decked out in a scowl,
And his whiskers were trimmed like the horns of an owl.

A big chaw of Redman distended his cheek,
And the juice that he spat left his mouth like a streak.
He had a lean face and a great set of abs,
That when he would tense them could crack shells of crabs.

He was stringy and taut, a real tight-ass no foolin',
And I found myself quaking and just short of droolin'.
With a glance of his eye and a shake of his head,
I figured out soon he was someone to dread.

He said not a peep but got right to his task,
And left the guys goodies for which they'd not ask.
Then grabbing a line that they dropped from the sled,
He climbed like a monkey way high overhead.

He hopped in his cockpit and gave a loud whistle,
And away they all flew like a Patriot missile.
And I heard him exclaim as he took to the sky,
Merry Christmas to all and to all Semper Fi!!!


  1. I knew you were talented... but my my! What a fantastic piece. Well done!

    A xxx

  2. Thanks for your continued support. It took me much longer to write than you might think to incorporate the original into a parody. Far more daunting than composing a poem from scratch.

  3. Nicely done, I will pass it on to
    My hubby and those serving with him over in the desert.

  4. Jeffrey - I tried to send an email to you about using this poem during my blog's Holiday Week. The email got bounced. Can you please send me an email?