If you got here via an Internet Search and have no Menu to the Left - you should load the Menu
[an error occurred while processing this directive]
[an error occurred while processing this directive].
If you don't like music - click this Silence Button
by Cpl Daniel Snuffer, USMC, 1972
1/9/3 - "The Walking Dead"
Another moving Story of Hope, similar to the "Shoebox"
Story given by one Lonely Marine to another...
On Christmas Eve in 1974 I was stationed at the Cold Weather Training Camp at Camp Fuji Japan. I was visiting a friend in another barracks when I heard a young Marine asking another Marine if he could take his guard duty from 2200 to 0200 when the Marine responded, "No not tonight buddy. Any other time and I might but not tonight."
The young Marine was desperate and he looked at me, and his eyes looked down and he could see my collar device, and his eyes sunk because I was a Corporal. I asked him what was wrong and he told me that it was his first Christmas away from home and he knew he couldn’t take being on watch Christmas Eve.
Well before thinking it through very well I felt compelled to tell him I would stand his guard for him and I did.
He looked at me funny and said, "You can't, you’re a Corporal." I told him, "That’s right and I’d appreciate it if a private wouldn’t tell a Corporal what he could and couldn’t do."
He smiled and started to try and give me a hug but I told him “stop!” I’ll take your guard but if anybody asks you, tell them Corporal Snuffer said that you were unfit to stand guard tonight and that you don’t look well to me. He told me OK and I told him carry on and Merry Christmas. He shook my hand and wished me Merry Christmas and went on his way after he patted me on the back.
It suddenly dawned on me that it was my first Christmas away from home also. I reasoned that I was much older than him - I was twenty and he was probably only eighteen. It was such a young Marine Corps in those days I can remember guys twenty-five being referred to as old men. So I went to the Duty Hut and explained to the Officer Of the Day that I would be taking the watch from 2200 to 0200. He told me that I didn’t need to and he would find someone else and I explained “No Sir it’s not necessary. I didn’t want some one else stuck with the assignment” and he told me it was Ok.
At a few minutes before 2200 I went to the Duty hut and was driven to the Motor Pool to assume my guard duties. I was unaware that the Motor Pool was situated on a hill above the Enlisted Men’s Club and the Christmas music echoed directly up the hill to the Motor Pool.
The Jeep let me off and drove away with the Marine I relieved. It was freezing cold and had been for several weeks but at night it was practically unbearable.
Immediately I was struck with the worst case of homesickness imaginable. I could see my Family at my Grandparents house, which was the family custom; complete with the Christmas tree and fantastic meal my grandmother was famous for making at Christmas. I could see every face of family members and I was so awe-struck at how much I missed them at that moment.
As an hour passed, my loneliness continued to get worse. The Christmas music continued song after song and made me more homesick with every note. I felt completely alone and I said out loud “God can it get any worse than this?”
I took off my helmet and looked up and a tiny white speck appeared and continued to get larger until it rested on my nose. I dropped my head - looked cross-eyed at that white speck on my nose until it melted. Then snow began to fall with huge snowflakes the size of a dime. I had seen it snow before but not like this. It was like a huge blanket covering everything.
Being a Marine I always considered myself a good shot. I once hit ten bulls eyes at 500 meters. But I had to give it to Him; I smiled and said, "Good shot God!" Then it dawned on me. I wasn’t alone. The lord had taken the only single snowflake in that storm and rested it on my nose. I was immediately warm and cheerful. I beamed! Then happily, I began to sing along with the Christmas music coming out of the Enlisted Men’s Club.
The night ended with my favorite song Silent Night, this made me even more cheerful.
Truly as long as we have the Lord we are never alone and I have had many Christmas celebrations since, but none do I remember as clearly as the one where the Lord's Holy Spirit visited me on a Snowflake.
Cpl Daniel Snuffer, USMC
A Christmas Story
Just a Marine
Submitted by Daniel Snuffer August 14, 2007
Copyright © 2007 - All Rights Reserved
Other writings by Daniel Snuffer...
Wall of Freedom
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 Cookies and an Empty Shoe Box
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
Oh, Holy Night
O Holy night, the stars are brightly shining
It is the night of our dear Savior's birth
Long lay the world
In sin and error pining
'Till He appeared and the soul felt His worth
The thrill of hope,
The weary world rejoices
For yonder brings a new and glorious morn
Fall on your knees
Oh, hear the angel's voices
Oh night divine
Oh night when Christ was born
Oh night divine
Oh night divine
Page Music Control
Return To Top