Daniel Snuffer, Cpl, USMC (Ret) 1/9/3 - 1975

of my Soul

My Visitor's Poetry and Deepest Thoughts in prose and Writing

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Christmas Cookies and an Empty Shoe Box

by Cpl Daniel Snuffer, USMC, 1972
1/9/3 - "The Walking Dead"

A very moving Christmas Story of Hope
given to an Angry Marine going to Vietnam

While in Infantry Training School in 1972 we were cleaning our weapons for the last time together as a unit, for some guys were going to Vietnam the next day and some were shipping out to other duty assignments. My orders were for the 7th Marines at Camp Pendleton. It was a few days before Christmas and I knew I would get liberty and be home with my family for Christmas.

One guy started saying that there is no GOD. He was one of the kids going to Vietnam. He lived on the east coast and would be spending Christmas on a plane headed for the Nam. This guy was saying terrible things and I wanted to say something but was so sorry for him I couldn't find the words. I knew he was heart broken and so I prayed, "Dear Lord, please help me find the courage to defend you against your angry child." Just then my platoon Sargent said mail call and began passing out letters.

I didn't get a letter but did receive a shoe box covered in brown paper. It was addressed to Private Daniel Snuffer from the Torrance, California LDS Relief Society
. I opened it and it was full of cookies. I was so grateful I was going home that I asked the guys in my platoon, "Want some cookies?"

Immediately I was surrounded by Marines and hands went into the box. One of the guys next to me asked, "Who sent you cookies?" I said, "The ladies from my church." Then the angry Marine said, "Why would they send you cookies?" I said, "Because they love me." He said, "Oh you know these ladies?" I said, "No never seen them and probably never will. I'm a Mormon and the ladies from my Church get together and bake cookies for all the boys away from home at Christmas. I'm not special just a Mormon kid away from home."

There were thirty guys in my platoon but I kid you not, cookies just kept coming out of that box! I was stunned! Cookies just kept coming out! I couldn't speak - I was speechless. I was just staring at that shoe box. Believe it or not everybody got a cookie. Some guys got two; some got three. Me, I never got a cookie; just an empty shoe box, but I thanked GOD for the empty box.

We then fell in and started marching to the chow hall. By then it was pitch black - so dark you couldn't see the man in front of you. As we marched in the distance you could hear the base chapel bell begin to ring. I heard a Marine behind me begin to sniffle and then he just started crying - it was the guy who had been so angry minutes before. When we finally got to the chow hall and I could see, everybody in my platoon had watery eyes and the angry Marine got a pat on the back and several others put an arm over his shoulder. Just then I could hear very calmly, very sincerely, "
Merry Christmas" and the guys started wishing each other Merry Christmas; even the kid who had been so angry. I could see by the looks on everybody's face it was OK now, no anger in the world was stronger than a shoe box full of cookies.

Cpl Daniel Snuffer, USMC

A Christmas Story of Hope
Daniel Snuffer
Just a Marine

Submitted by Daniel Snuffer August 11, 2007
© 2007 - All Rights Reserved

Other writings by Daniel Snuffer...

Wall of Freedom
Fighting Ships
The Lone Rifleman
I Sit and Wait
The Fight for the Laffey DD-724
God's Twinking Light
Dan's Marine Corps Memoirs
The Epic of the USS HANCOCK CVA-19

Moving Stories for Christmas
Christmas Eve, A Young Marine and a Snowflake

Send Comments about the above Poem to Jake
who will pass them on the the Author


Back | Visitor's Vietnam War Poetry Index | Poetry Home Page

Silent Night

Silent night, holy night,
All is calm, all is bright,
Round yon virgin mother and child,
Holy infant so tender and mild,
Sleep in heavenly peace, Sleep in heavenly peace,

Silent night, holy night,
Shepherds first saw the light,
Heard resounding clear and long,
Far and near, the angel song:
Christ the Saviour is here,
Christ the Saviour is here.

Silent night, holy night,
Son of God, oh, how bright
Love is smiling from thy face,
Peals for us the hour of grace.
Christ our Saviour is born,
Christ our Saviour is born.


LDS is an acronym for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints - also known as the Mormon Church. The Women's Relief Society is one of oldest Women's Organizations in the World, being founded by Joseph Smith, Jr., the Mormon Prophet, in Nauvoo, Illinois in the year 1842.

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