25 December 2005

09 December 2005

twas the night before christmas somewhere in iraq

´twas the night before christmas, he lived all alone
in a one bedroom house made of plaster and 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 mantle, 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, it was dark and dreary,
i found the home of a soldier, once i could see clearly.

the soldier lay sleeping, silent, alone,
curled up on the floor in this one bedroom home.

the face was so gentle, the room is such disorder,
not how i pictured a united states soldier.

was this the hero of whom i 'd just read?
curled up on a poncho, the floor for a bed?

i realized the families that i saw this night,
owed their lives to these soldiers who were willing to fight.

soon round the world, the children would play,
and grown-ups would celebrate a bright christmas day.

they all enjoyed freedom each month of the year,
because of the soldiers, like the one lying here.

i couldn't help wonder how many lay alone,
on a cold christmas eve in a land far from home.

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."

the soldier rolled over and drifted to sleep,
i couldn't control it i continued to weep.

i kept watch for hours, so silent and still
and we both shivered from the cold night's chill.

i didn't want to leave on that cold, dark night,
this guardian of honor so willing to fight.

then the soldier rolled over, with a voice soft and pure,
whispered, "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."

this poem was written
by a marine stationed in
okinawa, japan.
thanks to my cousin dpflynn
for emailing it to me.

spread it around.

02 December 2005

i got my espn2 just in time

by a score of nil-nil and 4-3 on penalty kicks, the university of portland pilots edged the penn state nittany lions to advance to the championship round, to be played sunday.

star pilot striker christine sinclair (left) was held scoreless for the third straight game, so she'll need to kick a goal in the next game in order to set a new single-season scoring record of 38. no pressure, of course.

penn state star tiffany weimer, who scores an average of once for every three attempts on goal, was also held scoreless.

The real stars of the game were junior goalie cori alexander (right), who was stellar protecting the goal for the pilots, and penn state senior keeper erin mcleod, with 10 saves on goal.

so now it's on to face the ucla bruins. ucla hasn't seen an offense like portland's all year long, and the bruins have a five-game scoring streak of 25-nil coming into the finals, and they've shut out 17 of their last 19 ncaa tourney opponents. . .so it promises to be an exciting game.

you know where i'll be sunday--at home watching espn2!

pilots logo and photographs copyright ©2005 university of portland sports information office and americaneagle.com. used with permission. may not be reproduced or redistributed without the express written consent of the university of portland.