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Hey boys and girls;


We lost a Scouter in Afghanistan the other day. Mike McMahon was an Army helo pilot with the 25th ID. Left a wife and three sons. Didn't know him personally, but then again, we all did...


I lost my dad on Christmas day when I was a kid; I can tell you from personal experience, the holidays will never be the same again for his family.


Here's a couple of links if you'd like to know more

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My son's best friend (He's a good friend of mine now too) is a Cadet at West Point. In a year and a half, I've already come to understand that what happens to one of you happens to all of you. So directly to you, and every person selfless enough to do what you do, my sympathy.


I will certainly keep him and his family in my prayers.



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This stuff brings tears to my eyes, as does the sounding of Taps, watching aircraft fly the mission man formation, listening the Navy Hymn...


These guys are the best. How sad it is when one of our best looses their life.


God Bless their families.


Eagle1973 or USNA1981 or USN (Ret.)


(This message has been edited by Eagle1973)

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Thanks for adding the links.

Watching the nightly news and hearing "Today so many were lost." It is easy to not put faces or think that this person was important and loved. He or She leaves behind people who grieve and feel the loss.

I will of course offer a few prayers for Mike and his kin.


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A Soldier's Christmas Poem


The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,

I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.

My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,

my daughter beside me, angelic in rest.


Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,

Transforming the yard to a winter delight.

The sparkling lights in the tree, I believe,

Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.


My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,

Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep

in perfect contentment, or so it would seem.

So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.


The sound wasn't loud, and it wasn't too near,

But I opened my eye when it tickled my ear.

Perhaps just a cough, I didn't quite know,

Then the sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.


My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,

and I crept to the door just to see who was near.

Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,

A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.


A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old

Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.

Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,

Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.


"What are you doing?" I asked without fear

"Come in this moment, it's freezing out here!

Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,

You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!"


For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,

away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts,

to the window that danced with a warm fire's light

then he sighed and he said "Its really all right,

I'm out here by choice. I'm here every night"


"Its my duty to stand at the front of the line,

that separates you from the darkest of times.

No one had to ask or beg or implore me,

I'm proud to stand here like my fathers before me.


My Gramps died at 'Pearl on a day in December,"

then he sighed, "That's a Christmas 'Gram always remembers."

My dad stood his watch in the jungles of 'Nam

And now it is my turn and so, here I am.


I've not seen my own son in more than a while,

But my wife sends me pictures, he's sure got her smile.

Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,

The red white and blue... an American flag.


"I can live through the cold and the being alone,

Away from my family, my house and my home,

I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,

I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat,

I can carry the weight of killing another

or lay down my life with my sisters and brothers

who stand at the front against any and all,

to insure for all time that this flag will not fall."


"So go back inside," he said, "harbor no fright

Your family is waiting and I'll be all right."

"But isn't there something I can do, at the least,

"Give you money," I asked, "or prepare you a feast?


It seems all too little for all that you've done,

For being away from your wife and your son."


Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,

"Just tell us you love us, and never forget

To fight for our rights back at home while we're gone.

To stand your own watch, no matter how long.


For when we come home, either standing or dead,

to know you remember we fought and we bled

is payment enough, and with that we will trust.

That we mattered to you as you mattered to us.


By Michael Marks, Christmas 2000


Thank the troops! http://www.defendamerica.mil/nmam.html

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