Testimonial: The poem below is part of a two 1/2 hour Bing Crosby radio show, Christmas themed from the Korean War Era. I was sitting down listening to this sweetheart of a record when I was reminded of the following poem. Called the G.I.’s Christmas Carol. It was written by Lt. Col. Darrell Rathburn during the Korean War. The poem was printed in several newspapers at the time and read on air by Bing Crosby. I decided to share it with you all as a reminder of our troops still fighting in Afghanistan. may they all come home safe and sound with God’s blessing. You are all in our prayers this day.
Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the tent
Was the odor of fuel oil (the stovepipe was bent).
The shoepacs were hung by the oil stove with care,
In hopes that they’d issue each man a new pair.
The weary GI’s were sacked out in their beds,
And visions of sugar-babes danced through their heads,
When up on the ridgeline there rose such a clatter
(A Chinese machine gun had started to chatter)
I rushed to my rifle and threw back the bolt.
The rest of my tent-mates awoke with a jolt.
Outside, we could hear our platoon Sergeant Kelly,
A hard little man with a little pot belly.
“Come Yancey, come Clancey, come Conners and Watson,
“Up Miller, up Shiller, up Baker and Dodson!”
We tumbled outside in a swirl of confusion,
So cold that each man could have used a transfusion.
“Get up on that hilltop and silence that Red,
“And don’t you come back till you’re sure that he’s dead.”
Then putting his thumb up in front of his nose,
Sergeant Kelly took leave of us shivering Joe’s
But we heard him say in a voice soft and light:
“Merry Christmas to all-may you live through the night.”