Family, friends, and sometimes even troops themselves send I-Report salutes nearly every day to U.S. military serving their country away from home. Take a look below as family and friends share stories of the troops they love.
Saturday, December 22, 2007
'Always looking for the fun in things'


My nephew, Dan Ardrey, is serving in the US Air Force in Qatar. He is a fighter jet mechanic, and drives co-workers by bus to work each day. Daniel is from Zanesville, OH, the son of Jay and Patty Ardrey. He is always looking for the fun in things.

-- Nancy Rutledge of Zanesville, Ohio
This poem was written by a British Peacekeeping soldier stationed
Overseas.



T'WAS 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 KINDS,

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 IN SUCH DISORDER,
NOT HOW I PICTURED, A FEARLESS 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 AND 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 HONOUR, SO WILLING TO FIGHT.

THEN THE SOLDIER ROLLED OVER, WITH A VOICE SOFT AND PURE,
WHISPERED, "CARRY ON SANTA, ITS 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."
On CNN TV
Every weekday morning on Headline News' Morning Express, anchor Robin Meade and her team do a shout-out to U.S. troops by showing off photos and videos sent in by their loved ones. Tune in every hour between 6 and 10 a.m. to see the salutes on air, or click through the archives on this page.
Send your own salute
Do you have a friend or family member serving abroad in the U.S. military? Please share your story on iReport.com!
CNN Comment Policy: CNN encourages you to add a comment to this discussion. You may not post any unlawful, threatening, libelous, defamatory, obscene, pornographic or other material that would violate the law. Please note that CNN makes reasonable efforts to review all comments prior to posting and CNN may edit comments for clarity or to keep out questionable or off-topic material. All comments should be relevant to the post and remain respectful of other authors and commenters. By submitting your comment, you hereby give CNN the right, but not the obligation, to post, air, edit, exhibit, telecast, cablecast, webcast, re-use, publish, reproduce, use, license, print, distribute or otherwise use your comment(s) and accompanying personal identifying information via all forms of media now known or hereafter devised, worldwide, in perpetuity. CNN Privacy Statement.
Home  |  World  |  U.S.  |  Politics  |  Crime  |  Entertainment  |  Health  |  Tech  |  Travel  |  Living  |  Money  |  Sports  |  Time.com
© 2014 Cable News Network. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved.