A Soldier’s Night Before Christmas
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!
2017 Regimental Reunion Dinner – 11/18/17
425th Regimental Reunion Dinner
Saturday, November 18, 2017
Bruce VFW Post
28404 Jefferson Ave., St. Clair Shores, MI
You are cordially invited to attend the 2017 Regimental Reunion Dinner. This is a great opportunity to renew past friendships and make some new ones.
The Reunion Dinner will include dinner, and an open bar. There will also be unit and association t-shirts, hats, coins, and other memorabilia on sale.
- 1700 Bar opens
- 1800 Induction of Association officers
- 1830 Dinner
- 1930 Guest Speaker – Colonel Jerry Faunt, former Deputy Commander for Special Operations in Afghanistan.
- 2200 Formal activities are concluded. Members are invited to stay longer and socialize in the Post Club Room.
The cost of this event is $35 per person. Payment must be made in advance NLT
Nov 3, 2017. Nov 8, 2017
For credit card payments click on this link – http://425regiment.org/?page_id=1363, or copy and paste it into your preferred web browser.
Payment made also be made by check (payable to 425th Regimental Association) and sending the form at the bottom of this invitation to Mark Day, 27312 Red Leaf Lane, Southfield, MI 48076.
There is no designated attire for this event. Members are encouraged to wear the Army Service Uniform, Class A Army Green Uniform, business suit, or sport coat and tie.
425th Regimental Reunion Dinner, November 18, 2017
Number of guests _____________________
Email address ______________________________________________________________
Phone Numbers: Home (______) ________________ Cell (_______) _______________
Amount Paid $ ______________
Send this form (with check) to:
Mark Day, 27312 Red Leaf Lane, Southfield, MI 48076
2017 Regimental Rendezvous
The 2017 Regimental Rendezvous was another success. We encountered a number of new obstacles and tried some new things, and it all worked out in the end.
The biggest obstacle was that Camp Grayling has turned Building 656Q from a chargeable quarters building into a barrack. This made it more difficult to schedule and the accommodations were not a plush as they had been in the past.
Because they had removed the big refrigerators from the building, we explored having our meals at the Camp Grayling Officers Club.
Based on the availability of Building 656Q, we scheduled the Rendezvous for September instead of May. Our less than expected turnout may have been a result of this decision as some of our members told us that they were tired up with fall sports and school activities.
We also opened the schedule to allow members to arrive on Friday afternoon/evening.
The time on the range was as enjoyable as ever. The Big Ranger in the Sky cooperated by providing beautiful weather for the weekend. We again used Range 3, a 25-meter range. Some members have asked about using Range 10, an automated record fire range; however we again chose Range 3 for several reasons.
This range can be run with a minimum number of range personnel allowing more of our members to shoot on the range, rather than running it.
A 25-meter range allows use the flexibility to fire handguns and rifles at the same time.
Range 3 allows us to put more people on the firing line at the same time, increasing the amount of time people have for shooting, rather than waiting for their turn.
Bill Poynter, once again, entertained everyone by bringing his A3 .30 caliber machine gun. This is actually a semi-automatic version but, with an agile trigger finger, it is “almost” a machine gun.
Phil Griglio continued his performance by providing breakfast on Saturday morning and lunch on the range.
In the afternoon, everyone had the chance to visit the PX and Class Six store, before we went to the Officers Club for dinner. At the Club, Merry Meredith and her staff provided our members with a great meal in a historical setting. Rasmus Hanson, one of the state’s lumber barons donated the land for Camp Grayling to the National Guard back in the 1913. The Officers Club was built in 1917 and has been a focus of military social activities since then.
The rest of the evening was spent watching “A Bridge Too Far” and “The Great Raid,” the story of the rescue of American POWs in the Philippines by the 6th Ranger Battalion in WWII, and telling jump lies.
After cleaning and clearing the building on Sunday morning we had a wonderful breakfast at the Officers Club and conducted a brief service at our Company F Memorial near the Camp Grayling Chapel.
The Association would like to thank the volunteers that worked so hard to make this year’s Rendezvous a success.
- Larry Vandenberg
- Phil Griglio
- Bob Lagana
- Bob Wangen
- Jon Allen
- David Lincicome
- Tony Lopiccolo
- Duane Gardner
Our next big event will be our Annual Reunion Dinner at the Bruce VFW Post on November 18, 2017. If you couldn’t attend the Rendezvous, don’t miss the Reunion Dinner!
Third Annual Regimental Rendezvous
The Third Annual Regimental Rendezvous will be held at Camp Grayling on 8-10 September 2017.
This is intended to be a “guys” weekend. If members are welcome to bring a wife or significant other; however, there will be no special activities or arrangements made for them.
The cost for the weekend is $49 per person to underwrite the cost of the building, range, and meals. We have made arrangements for quarters in Building 656Q in the old “Tent City (600 area)” for Friday and Saturday night. These rooms will be first come, first served. Once all rooms have been assigned you will need to find lodging somewhere else in Grayling. These rooms have two twin-sized beds and private bathroom. Quarters and all meals are included in the registration fee.
Here is the schedule for the weekend.
Friday, 8 Sep
Arrive at Camp Grayling. No meals will be provided on Friday.
Saturday, 9 Sep
0800 – 1000 Continental breakfast (Coffee, juice, and donuts)
1000 – 1200 Move to Range 3.
Firing personal weapons on a Range 3 (25-meter range)
1200 – 1300 Lunch (on the range) Subway party sandwich, Chips, Soft Drinks
1300 – 1500 Firing personal weapons on a Range 3 (25-meter range)
1500 – 1800 Free time to hang out at Building 656Q, visit the PX, etc.
1800 – 2000 Dinner (Camp Grayling Officer Club)
2000 – TBD Movie night in Building 656Q, featuring WWII Airborne movies
Sunday, 10 Sep
0800 – 1000 Pack up and clear Building 656Q
1000 – 1100 Brunch (Camp Grayling Officer Club)
1100 – 1130 Roll Call at 425th Memorial Monument
1200 – Depart for home
We will provide a roster of all attendees to the front gate so those without a valid ID card can enter Camp Grayling.
Information on the range and how to bring personal weapons on post will be provided in a letter of instructions. This will be sent to all who register.
Everyone brings their own lawn chairs
We suggest that everyone bring a snack to share Saturday evening.
No alcoholic beverages will be provided by the Association, BYOB
There are no refrigerators in Building 656Q.
Reservations must be made NLT 31 Aug.
The preferred method of registration is through the Association website at http://425regiment.org/?page_id=1205
425th Regimental Association Newsletter Spring 2017
425th Regimental Association
NOTE: If you are using an Army Knowledge Online email address or an email address from your employer, we recommend that you use a personal email account. This is so we can stay in contact with you regardless of your employment or military status.
Online Membership and Shopping on the Regimental website
You can renew your membership online through the Membership Center on the Association website. You can also purchase Regimental clothing, coins, license plates, and decals through the Regimental Quartermaster Store. We accept payment by PayPal, Visa, and Mastercard.
Upcoming Regimental Events – 2017 – Mark your calendars and hold these dates. Look for more details in future mailings.
Joint 82nd Airborne Division Association/425th Regimental Association Picnic
Saturday. 29 July 2017 / Family Picnic starts at 1100 hrs
Bruce VFW Post / 28404 E. Jefferson Ave, St. Clair Shores, MI. (Located between 11 & 12 mile Roads)
As in the past, the 82nd Association will be supplying hot dogs, hamburgers, condiments, paper plates, utensils, and beer. (please put a generous donation in the can to cover these and other costs). The meal is pot luck and those attending are encouraged to bring a dish to pass. The grill opens around noon.
There will be an Association Membership meeting at 1400 in the VFW Club Room. This is your best opportunity to participate in the decision making of the Association.
Thunder Over Michigan Air Show
David Lincicome will be leading the charge for our parking project at the Willow Run Airport. It will be the weekend of 2-4 Sep (Labor Day Weekend). As in the past the Association will receive funds for our coffers in accordance to the number of volunteers we have working the parking concession. We have done well the past several years.
The more volunteers we have, the more money we make. You can work both days or just one and get to see the air show for free. This year will feature the Blue Angels, so the crowds will be big. Workers will be provided with lunch and receive their choice of a free 425th Association hat, T-shirt or license plate. For more details or to volunteer contact David Lincicome at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at (810) 560-4665.
3rd Annual Regimental Rendezvous
The Third Annual Regimental Rendezvous will take place at Camp Grayling on 8-10 Sep. This year members are welcome to come up on Friday night. We will be using Building 656Q and will have plenty of room. Tentative plans are for range firing on Saturday with lunch on the range, dinner at the Camp Grayling “O” Club, a military movie fest on Saturday night, and a ceremony at the 425th Memorial Sunday morning.
425th Regimental Association Reunion Dinner
We plan to hold a Reunion Dinner at the Bruce VFW Post in October (Date to be determined) The estimated cost will be $35 per person. This will be a catered buffet dinner with an open bar. This is NOT a formal Dining Out, but an informal “Reunion Dinner.” We hope that this will be an opportunity for both members and their wives to enjoy the camaraderie of Company F.
Michigan veteran designation for licenses and ID cards
The veteran designation gives veterans an easy way to prove their veteran status to receive discounts from businesses. Eligible veterans may get the designation by visiting any Secretary of State office or when renewing through the mail. The designation is available when you apply for an original or renewal Michigan license or ID at no additional charge. If added at another time, correction fees will apply. The word “Veteran” will be printed in red on the front of the card.
Military veterans who served in any branch of the U.S. armed forces and have an honorable or under honorable conditions (general) discharge may have a veteran designation printed on their Michigan driver’s license or state identification card. Qualifying services include the U.S. Air Force, Air Force National Guard, Army, Army National Guard, Coast Guard, Marine Corps and Navy, as well as their Reserve components.
Contact the Michigan Secretary of State office for more information.
Home for wounded veterans being created in Flint
Two men who know the struggle wounded warriors endure are reaching out to offer help. They’re in the process of converting a Flint house into a place veterans can stay and get back on their feet.
“We can assist in certain indescribable issues that only others have faced. There’s no name for it. It’s like the shadow in the corner. We don’t know what to call it, but it’s there,” said Tobias Lerke, of the Veterans Wounded Warrior Foundation.
The home they are working on is in the College-Cultural area of Flint. There are six bedrooms in the 90-year-old house and they hope to have them fixed up and furnished during the next few weeks.
The two men have been making the house as energy efficient as they can. They have switched the lights over to LEDs and have been making the house as draft-free as they can. Toilets have been made low-flow and Retro Foam insulation will be added to the walls and attic. That will help keep the utility bills down so the home will be more affordable.
They don’t plan to charge the veterans until their guests are financially stable. When the first veterans arrive, the two men will provide counseling and help them enroll in the University of Michigan-Flint or Mott Community College.
“We’re just trying to get the home operational. We’re just trying to get it the most optimal healing place, the best air quality, water quality. The best set-up for natural healing,” Lerke said.
“I want this place to be a pillar, like a salvation. A place like a holy Mecca, if you will, so they can come here and feel extremely welcome, they know we’re going to help them once they’re here,” said Markeice Patrick, with the Veterans Wounded Warrior Foundation.
With help from Consumers Energy and the home improvement stores, the two have been able to find some inexpensive items that will lower their energy bills a lot.
Call the Veterans Wounded Warrior Foundation at 248-215-1488 for more information.
Selfridge Military Museum, Air Park to open for season
With the return of spring weather, the Selfridge Military Museum and Air Park will soon once again be open to the general public.
The museum and air park will be open from noon to 4:30 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays from April 1 to Oct. 29. It will also be open on Independence Day and Memorial Day.
Visitors to the museum and air park will see more than $7 million worth of displays. The site features more than 30 military aircraft, all with a Michigan connection, and thousands of artifacts.
Displays include a full-scale historically accurate replica of a World War I fighter plane, the SPAD XIII, a three-quarter scale historically accurate replica of the Wright Brothers first aircraft, the “Wright Flyer,” an interactive cutaway and motorized World War II aircraft engine, an interactive air traffic control radar display, an extensive display of original aviation art produced by noted aviation artists, a Korean War era “Jeep” and four aircraft cockpit trainers: a modern F-16 “Fighting Falcon,” a Vietnam-era A-7 “Corsair II,” a WWII LINK trainer that guests can sit inside of, and a functional LINK trainer that can only be operated by qualified individuals by appointment.
Displays feature a variety of military memorabilia, including weapons, aircraft engines, military uniforms, military aircraft models and photographs spanning the 100-year history of the base. The air park contains 33 full-size vintage military aircraft from WWI to the present day, plus an assortment of military vehicles and missiles. The large C-130A “Hercules” and P-3B “Orion” aircraft in the air park can be opened up to visitors when weather and the availability of docents permit. Photographs of the interior and exterior displays are permitted for private non-commercial use only.
All of the aircraft on display at the museum were either operated by the Michigan Air National Guard or by another military unit at a base in the state of Michigan.
The museum and air park is located on Selfridge Air National Guard Base, accessible by vehicle only through the Main Gate at the intersection of M-59 and Jefferson Avenue on the south end of Chesterfield Township. For security reasons, guests arriving in a private vehicle driven by someone without a valid government identification card must register for a visitor’s pass at the base’s visitor’s center or main gate and be subjected to a background check. A current and valid driver’s license, vehicle registration and proof of vehicle insurance are required.
The facility can also be opened by appointment at other times throughout the year by calling 586-239-5035 or emailing email@example.com.
425th Regimental Association Board of Directors & Contact Information
President: Stewart Boner – firstname.lastname@example.org
Vice President Mark Evans – email@example.com
Secretary: Tony Lopiccolo – firstname.lastname@example.org
Treasurer: Tom Neff – email@example.com
Historian: Don Bugg – firstname.lastname@example.org
RCSM: Dean Burchill – email@example.com
Adjutant : Bob Wangen – firstname.lastname@example.org
Quartermaster: David Lincicome – email@example.com
_________________________________________________End of 2017 Posts