The Sandbox

GWOT hot wash, straight from the wire

Welcome to The Sandbox, a forum for service members who have served or are currently serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, returned vets, spouses and caregivers. The Sandbox's focus is not on policy and partisanship (go to our Blowback page for that), but on the unclassified details of deployment -- the everyday, the extraordinary, the wonderful, the messed-up, the absurd. All correspondence is read, and as much as possible is posted, lightly edited. If you know someone who is deployed who might have something to say, please tell them about us. To submit a post click here.

A SONG FOR THE SEASON |

December 24, 2010

Name: Scott
Stationed in: Afghanistan
Milblog: The Sand Docs

We want to send Christmas greetings to our families, friends, and supporters. I think that we, like all service members, agree that the most trying aspect of deployment is separation from our loved ones. Christmas is the day when this sentiment is felt most strongly.

The length and closeness of existence during deployment practically forces a unit to become family. My friends who left the service long ago often remark that the camaraderie is the one element of military life that is hardest to replicate in civilian life, and that which they missed the most about their time in service. So it is with us. This year each of us will be spending Christmas with this family, even while never forgetting our own.

My gift to readers of this blog is music. Bing Crosby recorded some of the most famous renditions of the Christmas classics. He was also known for his support of troops in the European Theater during World War II. In fact, in one poll, he was voted by those troops to have done more for GI morale than any other figure, including President Roosevelt, General Eisenhower, and Bob Hope. The version of Silent Night that plays on my IPOD was recorded by him at the end of World War II for radio broadcast to the GIs around the world.  It has added meaning for us this year.  It begins with a few words,

"This is a happy Christmas all right. A great Christmas. Next year, pray God, all of you will be sitting at your own fireplaces and around your own trees. This song that means so much to all of us."

It ends with bells, about which he says,

"The bells of Christmas 1945 ring out clear and free around the world to you. Their message comes from the hearts of one hundred and thirty-two million grateful Americans: 'Peace on earth. Goodwill toward men.'"

Here is Bing Crosby singing Silent Night as we wish for peace on earth amidst the grimness of war.



Here is also his version of I'll Be Home For Christmas which I extend to our loved ones.



May you have a blessed Christmas and holiday season.

Comments

Thank you -- and a very Merry Christmas from those of us back home missing our loved ones. I am glad you have each other, we extend our silent love and prayers to surround you this day and always - God Bless -stay safe.

Dear Scott/Sand Doc and all of the patients & staff

It's still Christmas here in Delaware, we've had a quite day. A nice breakfast together (pumpkin pancakes, a mix someone had given my wife) and bacon. We all agreed it tasted like pumpkin pie and debated the best pancakes. I have roots going back to Maine, so to me, blueberry rules, but only Maine blueberries.

We had a brief exchange of gifts with family, will have too much to eat at dinner. It's been a gray day, possible flurries.

I like the Song Let It Snow, The Christmas Song. Silent Night has come to be amongst one of my favorite hymns, Christmas hymns are by far the best in my opinion. I’ll be Home for Christmas of course would have special meaning to anyone deployed.

I found this website when I started reading The Sandbox. I started it yesterday and finished it a few minutes ago. Once upon a time, many moons ago, I served. With a doc and 2 nurses in the family, I can only imagine some of the horrors you have seen. While the media never gives you guys the press you deserve and you feel that many Americans do not appreciate your sacrifices, please know that millions do remember, do care and are eternally grateful.

I'm glad you have the fellowship of your team and the bounds you have forged will last lifetimes. Many patients will have a second chance because of you. Life is precious, thank you for reminding us of that and not to take our bounty for granted. This family will not. God Bless, God Speed. May you all find the inner strength to continue. If there is anyone there who needs a boost, or shot in the arm, please feel free to share this email.

All my best,

Matt

Thank you for posting those wonderful videos!! I am happy to know that even though soldiers miss their families especially when holidays roll around that you all look to the bright side and see the amazing family that you have around you. It is always wonderful to have such a bright spirit and I commend you for that! I hope you had a wonderful and blessed holiday season and as the song says I "pray to GOD that next year you will all be home sitting around your own fireplaces and trees."
GOD BLESS,
Jennifer

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