Editors note: This rendition of "A Visit from St. Nicholas" by Clement Clarke Moore was written by Task & Purpose senior reporter James Clark, who included photos he took during his 2011 deployment to Kajaki and Sangin, Afghanistan with 1st Battalion, 6th Marines.
'Twas the night before Christmas,
When all through the war zone,
Not a creature was stirring, not even a drone
Coyote brown beanies were donned with care,
In the hopes that first sergeant would not be there
The Marines were nestled, all snug in their beds,
While nightmares of Jody danced in their heads,
And my battle buddy in his shemagh, and I in my cap,
Had just got off post and were ready for a nap
When over the radio arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my rack to see what was the matter
The sergeant major was inbound — my dreams of rest all a-tatter
Into the PB the convoy came 'round
And out of the MRAP he leapt with a bound
He was dressed all in red,
And shot us a glare that filled us with dread
But, a seabag of gifts he had flung on his back
And with a flak on his chest, he belted a hoot
"Shave your nasty faces, you dumb boots!"
With a hearty guffaw he went straight to his work,
Throwing dip and Gerbers to Marines with a jerk,
Once our rucks were stuffed with holiday cheer,
He assembled his gear and the gun trucks withdrew
Before they went out, he gave such a shout
"On to Alpha, and Bravo, and Charlie, and Weapons,
Heavens help us, on to H&S, too"
Then I heard him exclaim, 'ere he drove out of sight,
"Happy Forever War to all, and to all a good night!"