The Bugler

Bugler Newsletter

The Secret to 2012

Advice is like the flu: there's a lot of it going around these days. And no wonder. The approach of a New Year means fresh beginnings and second chances - and plenty of suggestions for keeping those unrealistic New Year's resolutions. Most of us know that even the best of intentions evaporate long before the first thaw. The calendar may change, but we are the same people in January as we are at year's end, with the same habits, weaknesses, and resistance to change. As we prepare to kick off 2012, perhaps we would be better off with fewer resolutions and more resolve. Keep this in mind: each of us has only so many days on this planet. How we spend each one determines how we spend our lives. We can invest our time in the people and values we hold dear, or we can squander it on trivial diversions and shallow pursuits. What we do has a way of determining who we ultimately become and how we are remembered. The choice is ours.

Bob Hope Christmas Tours

Isn't Bob Hope proof of how what we do has a way of determining who we ultimately become and how we are remembered? What a performer and humanitarian! In 1995, the U.S, Congress honored Hope by declaring him : "the first and only honorary veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces." He appeared in or hosted 199 known USO shows! You'll enjoy this very special trip down memory lane. Thank you, Bob, for the memories!

"The Soldier Outside My Door"

This poem was sent to us by a customer in 2003. It is as true now as it was then, when we first included it in a December Bugler. We don't know the author, but it's a wonderful piece to share at this time of year.

The Soldier Outside My Door

The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.

Outside the snow fell a blanket of white
Transforming the yard to a winter delight.
The sparkling lights in the tree, I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.

My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep
In perfect contentment or so it would seem.
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.

The sound wasn't loud, and it wasn't too near,
But I opened my eye when it tickled my ear.
Perhaps just a cough, I didn't quite know,
Then the sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.

My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door just to see who was near.
Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.

A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old
Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
Standing watch over me and my wife and my child.

"What are you doing?" I asked without fear.
"Come in this moment, it’s freezing out here!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve.
You should be home on a cold Christmas Eve!"

For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift
Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts
To the window that danced with a warm fire's light,
Then he sighed and he said, "It's really all right.
I'm out here by choice. I'm here every night.
It's my duty to stand at the front of the line,
That separates you from the darkest of times.
No one had to ask or beg or implore me;
I'm proud to stand here like my fathers before me.
My Gramps died at 'Pearl' on a day in December."

Then he sighed, "That’s a Christmas Gram always remembers.
My dad stood his watch in the jungles of 'Nam
And now it is my turn and so, here I am.
I've not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures. He's sure got her smile."
Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag
The red, white and blue... an American flag.
"I can live through the cold and the being alone
Away from my family, my house, and my home.
I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet;
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.
I can carry the weight of killing another,
Or lay down my life with my sisters and brothers
Who stand at the front against any and all,
To insure for all time that this flag will not fall.
So go back inside," he said, "harbor no fright.
Your family is waiting, and I'll be all right."

"But isn't there something I can do, at the least –
Give you money," I asked, "or prepare you a feast?

It seems all too little for all that you've done,
For being away from your wife and your son."

Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
"Just tell us you love us, and never forget
To fight for our rights back at home while we're gone,
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.
For when we come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled
Is payment enough, and with that we will trust.
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us."

Thanks ... and happy holidays to all!

Thank you for gifting us with another great year at Glendale and! We mean it when we say that it's a pleasure and privilege to serve you. We look forward to connecting with you again in 2012.

While we have the opportunity, all of us at Glendale - Wendy, Marilyn, Michele, Paula, Barbara, Irene, Deon, Pauline, Mark, Cheryl, Rich, Michelle, Shaji, Joel, Ed, and Chris - send all of you our warmest wishes for a happy holiday season and a healthy new year.

To our troops reading this overseas, we wish you a world of hope, the promise of peace, a safe and successful stay, and a return home soon to the families who wait for you and to your fellow Americans who are profoundly grateful for all you do.

Glendale and

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