Merry Christmas from home, and from abroad

Hey guys,

I just wanted to wish each and every one of you a Merry Christmas! I hope you all get some enjoyable time with your family, and I thought I’d share some pictures from back in the late ’90s when I was away from home.

Hopefully, these will serve as a reminder that there are thousands and thousands of military service members deployed throughout the world.

They’re in harm’s way,

My unit in Albania, evacuating Americans from harm’s way.

out at sea without the benefit of mail,

Ship life
U.S.S. Nassau in 1997. The ship my unit was on.

and crammed in tight ships too tight to be even remotely considered humane.

Me on ship
Me, at right, with a fellow Marine on the U.S.S. Nassau, definitely wishing I was home for that Christmas!

We owe them greatly for their service. Please remember them and thank a vet every chance you get…

Keep the faith,

Stan R. Mitchell

Oak Ridge, Tenn.

P.S. If you enjoy fast-paced books, you just might like my works. “Sold Out” tracks the life of a legendary Marine Sniper after a CIA unit decides to kill him for reasons of national security. “Little Man, and the Dixon County War” tells the uphill fight a young deputy faces after surviving three years of war only to find himself in the sights of a mighty cattle baron. And “Soldier On,” a short novel, follows the lives of several German soldiers in a depleted infantry company trying to make it through the final, miserable months of World War II.

16 thoughts on “Merry Christmas from home, and from abroad

  1. Twas the night before Christmas
    And all through the Corps
    Not a soul had liberty
    And all troops were sore

    When out on the grinder
    I heard such a clatter
    I sprang from my bunk
    To see what was the matter

    There was the Commandant
    In a gold plated tank
    Drawn by 10 colonels
    Bucking for rank

    He swiftly marched
    by each man’s rack
    Putting 10 pounds of sand
    Into each man’s pack

    As he rode off
    He exclaimed with a shout
    Merry Christmas, you bastards
    You’ll never get out.


    1. Oh, my word, 1stSgt!!! I had never heard this! Do you mind it I use it in a blog post for those who might have missed it in the comments? I’m confident none of the men I served with have seen it. Otherwise, we’d have been sharing it!

      And Merry Christmas to you, Sir. I’m so thankful our paths crossed, and I’m hoping to lean on your experience and wisdom in the years to come as I navigate life’s twists and turns.

      SF, and a Merry Christmas to you and your family.


  2. Son, this is a great article!! Brings back a lot of memories of the first Christmas, as an 18 year old Marine, you were not home for Christmas. Probably sadder for us than you. I remember you had leave in April and we left the Christmas tree up until you came home in April. Thank GOD for all the veterans protecting us and our country, but thank GOD you are home!!! LOVE, MOM & DAD


    1. Ah, I had forgotten the part about leaving the Christmas Tree up! I couldn’t have asked for more supportive parents and family. And all the care packages you sent were worth their weight in gold! Love, Stan


  3. Hope you and Danah have a glorious holiday, and perhaps you’re sharing it with your folks?


  4. Sorry to be late, Stan. Very busy this time of year. Holiday and family get-togethers. At least we are home now. I remember a lot of lonely Christmases in foreign lands. Now we should remember those still in uniform, and in other foreign lands this year. God Bless our men and women in uniform, and may all of them return home safe.


  5. Merry Christmas Stan. We didn’t serve together. I’m too old to have had the pleasure. Had I been a younger sailor, I would have been proud to have you on my boat.
    Brenda and I wish you and Danah a very happy, healthy and prosperous 2014.
    You keep the faith young brother.



    1. Thanks, David. I’d have been honored to serve with you. And I dare say you’d have knocked the teeth down the throat of a couple of my friends! (Why is it we Marines are so stupid that we’d never expect someone in the Navy to have actually boxed and know how to fight? Guess we truly have earned the title of jarheads!)

      And regarding 2014, I figure it can’t treat Danah and I any worse than 2013 did. We’ve had a tough year, and that’s the understatement of the century. More on that later. Let’s catch up after the New Years so I can vent a bit.

      Sincerely yours,


  6. Thanks for the pics! I was a marine onboard the Nassau for op silver wake too. I have no pics and appreciate you posting them!


    1. Oh, that makes my day! Hope they didn’t bring back to many bad memories, and I appreciate you stopping by and leaving a comment. Semper Fi, Brother!

      Keep the faith,


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