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This blog exists only as an archive. It is a journal that serves as a window into my life as a Marine combat veteran serving in Iraq and Afghanistan; it was written with no filter, no politics and no agenda. Please feel free to follow my journey from beginning to end. Welcome to my life.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas

Well, I tried going up to bed to catch up on some sleep. Actually, I'm not going to lie, I went up because I somehow still believe Santa won't come until I fall asleep. I figured it'd be easy, I mean, I'd been sleeping on our living room chair for about 3 hours while the rest of the fam was having fun. I thought I'd walk up there and be asleep the second my head hit the pillow, especially considering that I was up talking to my good friend Dave until about 6 in the morning the night before. But, here I am, staring at a computer screen, watching the clock climb ever higher towards midnight.

Obviously tomorrow is Christmas. Today my parents, sister Meghan, and I went to our church's Christmas Eve service. My mom was singing in the choir, she sings like an angel (hey, give me a break, I still haven't gotten my gift from her yet, things could improve...). The church service began a little difficult for me. When I walked in I was obviously thankful to be there. There were moments on this past deployment that almost caused last year's Christmas to be my final one. I soon got over those thoughts though, I generally try not to dwell on those things. But about 5 minutes in, a line something to the effect of "there are no more shepherds in the world" was said. Pretty harmless right? For some reason though, it caught my ear, and my mind started rolling it around and eventually paralleled it to Col. David Grossman's book 'On Killing'. So here I am, Christmas Eve service, thinking about how there are shepherds still in this world, they just wear flak jackets and the wolves carry machine guns. What a weird train of thought for church. I mean, seriously Wood, get a grip. But it choked me up, because a lot of those guys did not share my good fortune, and for 20 of them, those 'skin of your teeth' moments turned out deadly, and those moments stole every Christmas they had left.

So as the clock behind me strikes midnight, and the calender flips to December 25th, let me be one of the first people to wish you a Merry Christmas. I am so blessed to be able to share this day with my family, the people that I love and fight for, the people that God has blessed me with for unmatched support. I hope that this Christmas finds all of you in good health, good spirits and good company. And, political correctness be damned, happy birthday Jesus.

12 comments:

  1. Yep, Happy Birthday, Jesus!! And let me tell you, Jake, WE are blessed, BLESSED, to have you in our lives. You don't know me personally, but I've been following you since you went to Iraq, and you and your Marine brothers are in my prayers every day. In fact, I mentioned you to a soldier standing next to me in the flagline on the Libby Airfield, Ft Huachuca, Az telling him about your blog, and what a good guy you are, while we're waiting for 114 members of the 11th Signal Battalion to disembark after 27 hours on a plane, coming back after 15 months in Iraq. I cannot tell you the deep gratitude I feel for all our military and your families. God bless you. I'm glad you're home safe, and your fallen brothers and their families are in my prayers.

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  2. I don't know you either but want to say thank you for what you've done. I live in 29 Palms, was married to a Marine and want nothing more than for you guys to know how important you are and how thankful we all are that you do what you do. So if that means taking pizza to the guys at the gate on Christmas Eve (which I did tonight) or saying so on a blog, Merry Christmas!

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  3. Hope you are having a good one, Jake. America owes a great deal to men like you.

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  4. Hey Jake, I don't know you, but I am glad you are safe for this Christmas Season. You are in my prayers as well as all the armed forces. I hope that you have a very Merry Christmas!

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  5. Close calls make life sweeter.

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  6. Jake, I (for one) am really glad there are Shepards and Sheepdogs (to borrow from Dr. Grossman) like you and the other servicemembers out there, to keep me safe from those machine-gun-toting wolves. Have a great Holiday Season with your family.

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  7. Amen. Thank you for being a shepherd, happy birthday Jesus, and Merry Christmas. :)

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  8. There are still shepherds in the world. Just as people do not always realize that they need a shepherd in a flak jacket, they also do not realize they need a shepherd guarding their souls. I very much appreciate you and other soldiers for being the flak jacket shepherds. But if you think that you are sometimes not appreciated, just think what the spiritual shepherds go through. Jesus and His followers were hated, spit upon, beaten...and yet they still went about God's business. Men today do not care to be hated - therefore there are few spiritual shepherds.

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  9. Jake, I am so proud of you! You are a true blessing to us, your family, and all Americans!

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  10. Merry Christmas Jake (a day late). Glad to hear you had safe travels and got to spend the holiday with your family.

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  11. Jake

    A few days late but I too wish you the best of that Christmas gave to you.

    ALSO >>>>>>
    As one of those 'Flack-jacket wearing shepard Dogs{of War} >>>>>>

    TRY NOT TO GET TO WASTED ON DEC. 31
    {as you drink in the New Year.}

    HAPPY NEW YEAR ..... and may it be a good one, too.

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  12. Really sweet post, thanks for sharing. Have a Happy New Year!

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