Major Dad 1984

Cursed By A Classical Education

Let's just say that I intend to use this blog to blow off some steam that I might be feeling with the International/National media, my work situation, or maybe even to tee off on the family in a humorous way of course!


All We Want for Christmas...

Twas the night before Christmas, the house seemed so sad,
Early this year, this family lost “Dad.”
He’d been a soldier, in Afghanistan serving,
To help people live free, now thankful, deserving.

His wife and the kids have cried a river of tears,
They had known this could happen, through all of the years.
It’s a dangerous business, no place for wimps.
Some don’t come home, some others with limps.

As I slipped down the chimney, I really did dread…
That I’d fall straight apart in this house with war dead.
I crept from the hearth, wondering what would I see,
What my eyes would behold, in this land of the free.

The home was decorated, with the tree and some lights
The milk, plate of cookies, and some other tasty bites.
Next to this was a note, from the boys up in bed,
I picked the page up and here’s what it said.

“Dear Santa we know that you’re busy and need to be speedy
So we’ll keep it short, we don’t want to sound greedy.
You know already that our Daddy’s not here,
He went to heaven, that's perfectly clear.

Tonight as you travel across the cold Christmas skies.
We want you to help, take the tears from the eyes.
Of the other kids missing a Mom or a Dad.
Please help them to realize that it’s not so bad.

Our Dad died doing what was just, what was right.
His nation had called him, to head off to the fight.
To free the oppressed and protect us all here,
He went with a smile, a heart without fear.

One month ago, we had gotten the news
An airplane was missing, along with its crew.
Up in the mountains with weather so cold,
One of the missing, our daddy…a pilot, so bold.

Later we learned that God had called him that day
He needed a pilot, so tough and so brave.

We cried and we cried, the tears would not cease,

Daddy’s West Point friends wrote, “Mike…be thou at peace.”

We need your help Santa, for our Mommy tonight,
She misses him so, they were so tight.
All we want for Christmas is for her to be happy,
Knowing Daddy still watches over us, a flier so scrappy.”

Could I help these kids? I scratched my old head.
I snuck up the stairs and found Mom in bed.
Her eyes were still red, it was plain she’d been crying.
But a smile on her face, in her dreams she was flying.

Along with her pilot…her husband…her mate…
This lady was special, so obviously great.
My task wasn’t tough, really it ain’t.
After all, my name is Nicholas and I am a saint!

I straightened my suit, combed back my long hair…
Then as quiet as a mouse, I pulled up a chair.
I touched her calm face and closed tight my eyes…
My mind it was reeling, I started to cry.

Then inside my head, I heard a soft voice…

“Santa it’s Mike. Buck up, you don’t have a choice.
You know where I am…and I’ll tell you quite clear,
If I can’t have Christmas there…it’s not so bad being here.

I’m no longer with them, they know that it’s true,
That doesn’t mean I can’t see what they do.
When you pray for my wife and my kids Christmas night,
Let them know I’m on duty and I am alright.

My crew's here too and we’re flying tonight…
Take a look over your shoulder, make it your right!
You need to be careful. You need to “check six.”
That’s us behind you…Chief, give the lights a few flicks.”

Santa it’s time. Your job here is through…
The night’s not half over,
you’ve still plenty to do.

No need to worry, you need to be quick.
They’re in great hands, Jeanette’s got the stick,
You prayed for them all and showed them the way,
A soldier still stands guard over them every day.”

I knew Mike was right, it was getting late.
The world only half covered, I just couldn’t wait.

I stopped by the rooms of each of his boys…
I had to be careful to avoid clothes and some toys.
Mike Jr., Thomas, and Ricky lay snug in their beds…
I gave this blessing to each as I touched their heads.

“Your daddy was special, fighting for peace.
May you boys be spared from combat when all conflicts have ceased.”

With that I took leave from this Hawaiian home,
Through the skies I’d be flying, though not alone.
I did look back a number of times, more than a few.
And yes, on the horizon was my escort crew.

Across the world tonight, I saw the same scenes,
Homes full of sorrow, homes full of need.
After you read this, give it some thought.
Can I be happy with just what I’ve got?

Dig deep into your pockets, you’ve got spare cash.
Drop it in the kettle; it’ll help tighten your sash.
It will make you feel good; it will make you feel right…
Merry Christmas to all, and to all….a good night!

I wrote this in memory of LTC Mike McMahon, USMA 1985 and his family.

Here's an article that appeared recently in the Honolulu Times. Sounds like Mike's youngest read my mind.

Read the rest of the longer story!


At 4:43 PM, Blogger Joe said...

That was really touching, MajorDad. It's good to know a poet-warrior.

At 8:21 PM, Blogger Jim said...

That was a well written poem. RIP, Mike- and peace and love for your family.
We'll never agree on alot of things, but you're an OK man by me MajorDad!

At 8:44 PM, Blogger kmvr said...

My condolences to you Major Dad. What a wonderful tribute.

At 4:24 AM, Blogger the urban fox said...

"May you boys be spared from combat when all conflicts have ceased." I'll second that. Hope Mike's wife and children have a peaceful family Christmas despite their tragic loss.

At 6:27 AM, Blogger MajorDad said...


Of all people, soldiers are the least likely to want to see a prolonged use of force.

Aren't those some great looking kids with some pretty stoic ideas? Mom and Dad have obviously done a super job as parents!

See you on the high ground.


At 6:32 AM, Blogger MajorDad said...


Hardly think that I'm a poet warrior, but if that puts me in a similar category as GEN George S. Patton, I sure don't mind.

I can't really explain how that poem got written. I had re-read a poem that comes out every year on the Internet about Santa Clause finding a soldier/marine sleeping on the floor of a very Spartan abode...and decided I could do something that I hope is special for the family of a friend. I haven't told Jeanette that the poem is out I don't know that I want to rip a scab off of healing hearts. It will be there forever and always for the McMahons.

Merry Christmas my friends.

From the high ground...


At 6:47 AM, Blogger MajorDad said...


I'm glad that we've come to the agreement to disagree respectfully and passionately on some issues.

When it comes to respect for those that serve...I see you near the top of the list. Thank you for supporting the troops.

You and yours have a Merry Christmas!


At 12:09 PM, Blogger itismedavid said...

What a wonderful poem and tribute to a fallen hero and those who gave the greatest sacrifice. I will keep the McMahon's in my prayers. Thank you for sharing.

At 4:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I enjoyed your poem tremendously, very well said and written....we are waiting for your radio talk show!!! Merry Xmas and God Speed to all our soldier's and their families..... our thoughts and prayers are with you all.


At 7:21 PM, Blogger sCruuw said...

Wow! I just clicked for a random blog and up you came! It brought more than a lump to my throat, my boyfriend is in Iraq, my blog is devoted to him. I am missing him really bad tonight. I felt pretty alone tonight and this reminded me that my situation could be so much worse. My heartfelt condolences. Thank You. candi2059

At 7:42 PM, Blogger MajorDad said...

Candi...I'm glad you happened upon the blog when you did.

I know it's not easy being left behind...but know that your boyfriend is doing important work.

Thank you for your sacrifice and sharing him with us.

Come back anytime!


At 8:02 AM, Blogger sCruuw said...

I put a password on my keep a relative is 'army' in the event you would like to vistit.

At 11:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brilliant! I think his family would be honored to read this.


At 1:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow...I am working as a civilian in Iraq..but I hear the sounds of CarAirWing3 from the Truman over head everyday.. reminding me of all my friends still on active duty on my old ship. We have all lost people to this war and yet when I see the Iraqis around my base and how optimistic they are for the opportunity we are offering them... it makes it all worth it. With sadness we remember those who have given all and the families who will miss them this year. And surely our prayers are with all those who we love back at home. But this year and next month on 30 Jan... we will be giving the greatest christmas present possible to the people here...the chance to live freely. And for that we should all, soldiers, sailors, Marines, Airman, the Italians, the Poles, the Bulgarians, the Hungarians, the Portugese, the Argintines, the Dutch, the Koreans, the Aussies,(and the other's I've missed) and all Americans and Brits, citizen and soldier alike... should be proud.
Thanks Major Dad for shedding light on the sacrifice of our soldiers and families... as well as showing the willingness with which they gave all for all our freedom. A great service you do.
CCS; Camp Cedar; Iraq

At 8:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That was beautiful, brought a tear to my eye. God bless.


At 11:56 AM, Blogger AFSister said...

Wow- Major Dad, that is just BEAUTIFUL! So well thought out and meaningful. Thank you for sharing it with all of us!

At 8:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Absolutely beautifully written, Major Dad! I'll be keeping Mike's family in my thoughts and prayers.

At 10:15 AM, Blogger jwookie said...

Amen Major! That's the true spirit of the season. God bless our troops and their families, and doubly bless those who've lost a loved one in combat.

At 7:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well done!! I hope you had a safe and wonderful Christmas. I am also amazed to see someone from Copperas Cove Texas! I visited there many years ago, and this was the first time since, that I've seen that town any way!

Semper Fi!
Marine Mom

At 7:49 PM, Blogger MajorDad said...

Marine Mom...

We certainly had a great and safe Christmas here in Hooterville....I mean Copperas Cove.

Hope you had a similar one!

Thanks for your kind words.


At 9:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your tribute to Mike and his family was beautiful...although you haven't shared it with Jeanette as of yet, I do hope you do so someday.

We are old friends of the McMahon's (we were stationed together in Germany)and just got this sad news yesterday. Out thoughts and prayers are with Jeanette and the boys...

At 9:59 AM, Blogger MajorDad said...


Please contact me via when you have the chance.

I'd appreciate it.



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