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T'was the Night Before Christmas

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T'was the night before christmas, and all through the FOB

Not a creature was stirring, not even a working dog.

All but the night's guards were asleep in their CHUs

Dreaming of ETSing and no more ACUs.


When suddenly above the peaks, a roving guard did see

a bright red light that filled his heart with glee.

for he knew the red beacon belonged to a nose

of Rudolph who led Santa to visit the Joes.


The guard called the TOC, to pass on his sighting

Of Santa's visit in the midst of all the fighting.

Grunts and POGs arose from their slumber

To give Jolly Saint Nick a greeting by the numbers.


But suddenly another flash lit up the night.

A rocket from insurgents in search of a fight.

For the Taliban knew not the joy of the season

And sought to cause chaos without logic or reason


Their rocket flew true, and struck the red sleigh

A cowardly attack for which they'd soon pay.

Santa and his reindeer crashed on a high slope

The landing was hard, but the troops held out hope


The whole base was now on high alert.

Everyone hoped Santa hadn't been hurt.

QRF deployed, to retaliate with haste

And to the crash site, the SAR birds did race


presents lay strewn about the crash scene

but Santa and his reindeer were nowhere to be seen

Over hill and dale, the soldiers did look

Inside every cave, cranny, and nook


After an hour of searching, the troops thought with distress

Santa had been captured, the night was a Taliban success

But the troops didn't give up their perilous mission

They would not rest until they found Santa's position


For every troop saw Santa as one of their own

And they wouldn't rest until they brought the man home.

When finally word came as a red signal flare

And every troop knew Santa was in despair


From the Eleven Bravos, salty as dogs

To the Forty Two Alphas stuck at the FOB

To the Sixty Eight Whiskeys, aid bags in hand

To the Ninety Nine Zulus, hidden in the sand


And the Eighty Eight Mikes, Thirty Five Mikes and Foxes

And the Ninety Two Yankees with their stacks of boxes

The Thirty One Bravos, Thirteen Deltas too.

Soldiers of all MOSes knew just what to do.


They loaded up their MRAPs and M-ATVs

And spun up the Blackhawks, Chinooks and 64D's

The whole Brigade pushed up the hill

Powered by a sheer force of will


When finally they reached Santa's location

And laid down cover fire for his evacuation

They loaded the man on a CASEVAC chopper

and gave the Taliban an ass whoopin' good and proper


Before dawn it was clear the battle was won

The surviving enemy had decided to run

Santa survived the night with nary a scratch

The troops joked that he too earned a combat patch


He chuckled with joy as he boarded a new sleigh

Then somberly said "Soldiers, I must be on my way"

"Like all of you, I have to put mission first,

Even after this night that was surely my worst,


"But what I do can't hold a candle to yours,

For I've never been deployed on multiple tours,

And I'm only away from Mrs. Claus for one night,

And I don't wake up every day expecting a fight,


"And I know your job is hard, tiring and tough,

And the conditions you live in to be truly rough,

And so for Christmas, I bring a special gift,

That should ensure your vict'ry to be swift."


And with those words, he departed the base,

With many FOBs to go, he picked up the pace.

The soldiers gathered 'round the small present, bewildered.

And wondered what advantage Santa Claus had delivered.


The base commander unwrapped the package with care

And then for a moment, the General simply stood there

For the package contained an old parchment scroll

That the officer carefully began to unroll.


He read for a moment, mumbling aloud.

Then he turned to his forces, whom had formed a crowd.

"Merry Christmas, Soldiers," he said with scroll in hand,

"I'm holding the Naughty list for all of Afghanistan!"

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