WHY I LOVE MICHIGAN AT CHRISTMAS TIME
When it’s Christmas time in Michigan ,
And the gentle breezes blow,
About fifty miles an hour,
And it’s twenty-two below.
You can tell you’re in Michigan cause the snow’s up to your butt.
And you take a breath of Christmas air,
And your nose holes, both freeze shut.
The weather here is wonderful,
So I guess I’ll hang around,
Besides I could NEVER leave my Michigan,
Cuz my feet are frozen to the ground.
You Know You’re From Michigan When . . . . . .
1. You never met any celebrities.
2. “Vacation” means going to Cedar Point.
3. At least 1 member of your family disowns you the week of the Michigan/Michigan State game.
4. Half the change in your pocket is Canadian
5. You drive 86 mph on the highway and pass on the right.
6. Your idea of a traffic jam is 40 cars waiting to pass an orange barrel.
7. You know how to play (and pronounce) Euchre.
8. It’s easy to get VERNORS Ginger Ale, Sanders Hot Fudge sauce and Faygo Pop.
9. You know how to pronounce “Mackinac.”
10. You’ve had to switch on the “heat” and the “A/C” in the same day.
11. You bake with SODA and drink a POP.
12. The movie “Escanaba in Da Moonlight” wasn’t funny. You consider it a documentary.
13. Your little league game was snowed out.
14. The word “thumb” has geographical meaning, rather than anatomical significance.
15. You show people where you grew up by pointing to a spot on the back of your left hand.
16. Traveling coast-to-coast means driving from Port Huron to Muskegon.
17. You measure distance in minutes.
18. When giving directions, you refer to “A Michigan Left.”
19. You know that Kalamazoo not only exists, but it is either raining or snowing there.
20. Your year has 4 seasons: almost winter, winter, still winter, and road construction.
21. Home Depot on any Saturday is busier than toy stores at Christmas.
22. You know when it has rained because of the smell of worms.
23. Owning a Japanese car was a hangin’ offense in your hometown.
24. Everyone you meet out of state thinks you know Eiserman personally.
25. You drive 60 mph thru 2 feet of snow in a raging blizzard, without flinching.
26. You think Devil’s Night is celebrated everywhere.
27. You believe that “down south” means Toledo.
28. You know what a “Yooper” is.
29. Up North” means north of Clare.
30. Octopus and hockey go together as naturally as hot dogs and baseball.
31. The snow freezes so hard that you can actually walk across it and not break it or leave any marks.
32. Half your friends have a perfect sledding hill right in their own backyard.
33. You know that H.O.M.E.S. are 5 places that fish live. WHAT?
34. You actually understand everything I just wrote.
The Final Inspection
The soldier stood and faced God,
Which must always come to pass.
He hoped his shoes were shining,
Just as brightly as his brass.
“Step forward now, you soldier,
How shall I deal with you?
Have you always turned the other cheek?
To My Church have you been true?”
The soldier squared his shoulders and said,
“No, Lord, I guess I ain’t.
Because those of us who carry guns,
Can’t always be a saint.
I’ve had to work most Sundays,
And at times my talk was tough.
And sometimes I’ve been violent,
Because the world is awfully rough.
But, I never took a penny,
That wasn’t mine to keep…
Though I worked a lot of overtime,
When the bills got just too steep.
And I never passed a cry for help,
Though at times I shook with fear.
And sometimes, God, forgive me,
I’ve wept unmanly tears.
I know I don’t deserve a place,
Among the people here.
They never wanted me around,
Except to calm their fears.
If you’ve a place for me here, Lord,
It needn’t be so grand.
I never expected or had too much,
But if you don’t, I’ll understand.
There was a silence all around the throne,
Where the saints had often trod.
As the soldier waited quietly,
For the judgment of his God.
“Step forward now, you soldier,
You’ve borne your burdens well.
Walk peacefully on Heaven’s streets,
You’ve done your time in Hell.”
NOTE: It’s the Military, not the reporter who has given us the
freedom of the press. It’s the Military, not the poet, who has given
us the freedom of speech. It’s the Military, not the politicians that
ensures our right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.
It’s the Military who salutes the flag, who serves beneath the flag,
and whose coffin is draped by the flag. If you care to offer the
smallest token of recognition and appreciation for the Military,
please pass this on and pray for our men and women who have served and
are currently serving our country.
Letters to Deployed Soldiers
You can send cards, letters and CARE packages or get addresses to be a soldier “Pen Pal” through these sites:
Holiday Mail for Heroes
PO Box 5456
Capitol Heights, MD 20791-5456
The Red Cross is partnering with Pitney Bowes this holiday season for the Holiday Mail for Heroes campaign. For the second year in a row, we’re collecting holiday cards to distribute to American service members, veterans and their families in the United States and around the world. Pitney Bowes is generously donating technology, resources and postage to make this holiday card program possible.
Please follow these guidelines when mailing a card to ensure that your card will quickly reach service members, veterans and their families. Every card received will first be screened for hazardous materials by
Pitney Bowes and then reviewed by Red Cross volunteers working in one of 16 sorting stations around the country.
Guidelines are on the link above including: Cards must be postmarked no later than Wednesday, December 10, 2008, sign the card and don’t include anything besides the card (like pictures).
This information reportedly came from the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel & Readiness, Dr. David Chu.
Letters to Soldiers LetterstoSoldiers.org
Any Soldier Anysoldier.com– Originally, a simple family effort to help the soldiers in one Army unit. Due to overwhelming requests, on 1 January 2004 the Any Soldier® effort was expanded to include any member, of any of the Armed Forces in harms way. What to send and how to send letters and packages.
Email Our Military emailourmilitary.com eMOM was created in 2001 as a response to the DoD’s cancellation of the “Any Service Member” and “Operation Dear Abby” mail programs. A safe alternative, eMOM picked up where these programs left off. eMail Our Military’s founder is a military wife, the daughter of a veteran and an avid troop supporter. We’re volunteers from all walks of life who understand that regardless of our political views, our military service members deserve our respect, support & encouragement. Using eMail, eMOM provides a safe way for people to continue the tradition of “Any Service Member” mail with a much more personal touch. Service Members register with us for support and are matched with civilians who have registered to send and show their support to our troops.
Soldiers Angels soldiersangels.org As a volunteer-led nonprofit, we have over 20 different teams and programs supporting all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces. Through special projects, dedicated teams and individuals supporting our troops, we make a visible difference in the lives of our service members and their families.
Gunston Street Comics
In checking out what web searches were finding our Association website I found a search for “Gunston Street Comics” also found our site. Knowing that SSG Basil Zaviski was somehow connected to “Gunston Street” I followed it up and discovered that Company F has a published cartoonist among its members.
Here is a link to Basil’s website. You should check it out!
The Paratrooper’s Prayer
Kind Heavenly Father, our Great God who invites — “Follows Me” May we with Stalwart hearts declare Thee Lord of all. We ask Thy Holy blessing to rest upon all paratroopers who are on the path to secure and sustain peace.
May we be ready at all times to boldly stand up for thy truth and ways and be steadfastly hooked up to Thy Law and Gospel.
May a primary part of our equipment be a confident faith in Thee as we stand in the door of all missions in life. May the canopy of Thy love shield and keep us now and forever.
The Man with the Rifle Knows
And welter in cons and pros,
And seek for their answer at history’s doors,
But the man with the rifle knows.
He must stand on the ground on his own two feet,
And he’s never in doubt when it’s won,
If it’s won he’s there; if not, it’s defeat.
That’s his test, when the fighting is done.
When he carries the fight, it’s not with a roar
Of armored wings spitting death,
It’s creep and crawl in the earthen floor,
Butt down and holding his breath.
Saving his strength for the low rush,
Grenade throw and bayonet thrust;
And the whispered prayer, before he goes in,
Of a man who does what he must.
And when he’s attacked, he can’t zoom away,
When the shells fill the world with their sound,
He stays where he is, loosens his spade,
And digs his defense in the ground.
That ground isn’t ours till he’s there in the flesh,
Not a gadget or bomb but a man.
He’s the answer to theories which start afresh,
With each peace since war began.
So let the circle of argument rage
On what wins, as war comes and goes.
Many new theories may hold the stage
But the man with the rifle knows.
The Sands of Christmas
I had no Christmas spirit when I breathed a weary sigh,
And looked across the table where the bills were piled too high.
The laundry wasn’t finished and the car I had to fix,
My stocks were down another point, the Chargers lost by six.
And so with only minutes till my son got home from school
I gave up on the drudgery and grabbed a wooden stool.
The burdens that I carried were about all I could take,
And so I flipped the TV on to catch a little break.
I came upon a desert scene in shades of tan and rust,
No snowflakes hung upon the wind, just clouds of swirling dust.
And where the reindeer should have stood before a laden sleigh,
Eight Humvees ran a column right behind an M1A.
A group of boys walked past the tank, not one was past his teens
Their eyes were hard as polished flint, their faces drawn and lean.
They walked the street in armor with their rifles shouldered tight,
Their dearest wish for Christmas, just to have a silent night.
Other soldiers gathered, hunkered down against the wind,
To share a scrap of mail and dreams of going home again
There wasn’t much at all to put their lonely hearts at ease,
They had no Christmas turkey, just a pack of MREs.
They didn’t have a garland or a stocking I could see,
They didn’t need an ornament–they lacked a Christmas tree.
They didn’t have a present even though it was tradition,
The only boxes I could see were labeled “ammunition.”
I felt a little tug and found my son now by my side,
He asked me what it was I feared, and why it was I cried.
I swept him up into my arms and held him oh so near
And kissed him on the forehead as I whispered in his ear.
“There’s nothing wrong, my little son, for safe we sleep tonight
Our heroes stand on foreign land to give us all the right,
To worry on the things in life that mean nothing at all,
Instead of wondering if we will be the next to fall.”
He looked at me as children do and said, “It’s always right,
To thank the ones who help us and perhaps that we should write.”
And so we pushed aside the bills and sat to draft a note,
To thank the many far from home and this is what we wrote:
“God bless you all and keep you safe and speed your way back home.
Remember that we love you so, and that you’re not alone.
The gift you give you share with all, a present every day,
You give the gift of liberty and that we can’t repay.”
by Michael Marks
The Soldier’s Night Before Christmas
T’was the night before Christmas, he lived all alone,
In a one bedroom house made of plaster & 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 the fire, just boots filled with sand,
On the wall hung pictures of far distant lands.
With medals and badges, awards of all kind
A sober thought came through my mind.
For this house was different, so dark and dreary,
I knew I had found the home of a soldier, once I could see clearly.
I heard stories about them, I had to see more
So I walked down the hall and pushed open the door.
And there he lay sleeping silent alone,
Curled up on the floor in his one bedroom home.
His face so gentle, his room in such disorder,
Not how I pictured a United States soldier.
Was this the hero of whom I’d just read?
Curled up in his poncho, a floor for his bed?
His head was clean shaven, his weathered face tan,
I soon understood this was more than a man.
For I realized the families that I saw that night
Owed their lives to these men who were willing to fight.
Soon ‘round the world, the children would play,
And grownups would celebrate on a bright Christmas day.
They all enjoyed freedom each month of the year,
Because of soldiers like this one lying here.
I couldn’t help wonder how many lay alone
On a cold Christmas Eve in a land far from home.
Just 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.”
With that he rolled over and drifted off into sleep,
I couldn’t control it, I continued to weep.
I watched him for hours, so silent and still,
I noticed he shivered from the cold night’s chill.
So I took off my jacket, the one made of red,
And I covered this Soldier from his toes to his head.
And I put on his T-shirt of gray and black,
With an eagle and an Army patch embroidered on back.
And although it barely fit me, I began to swell with pride,
And for a shining moment, I was United States Army deep inside.
I didn’t want to leave him on that cold dark night,
This guardian of honor so willing to fight.
Then the soldier rolled over, whispered
with a voice so clean and pure,
“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!
_________________________________________________End of 2008 Posts