By: MSgt Edd Prothro, USMC Ret. 1964 - 1984


T’was the night before Christmas and all through the Corps;
no one had liberty; the troops were all sore.
We were all sacked out – every man in the lot;
on our beds of spikes; the Marine Corps cot.
Then out of the night there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my rack to see whats the matter.
I rushed to the window while craning my neck,
but I tripped on my locker and fell on the deck.
The door opened wide, and it seemed to get colder;
when I saw that St. Nick had four stars on his collar.
It was the Commandant, there was never a doubt;
he was wearing his poncho, with the green side out.
He tip-toed around by every man’s rack;
closely inspecting each man’s field marching pack.
A chosen few got a ninty-six chit,
but most of us got a ration of shit.
Then he took off in his gold plated tank;
drawn by 8 colonels, all bucking for rank.
Going over the trees, he turned with a shout;
“Merry Christmas, your bastards, you’ll never get out!!”

Semper Fi!!!

Sgt Grit wants to hear from you! Leave your comments below or submit your own story!


  • Harry 1371

    So if he wore his poncho green side out,it could be inside out. What other color would it be? Poncho liner was camo. Did they make a camo poncho? Harry 1371

  • MSgt Edd Prothro, USMC Ret. 1964-1984

    It’s called pentameter and part of poetic style. I realize there were only solid, green, rubber ponchos, but the words are needed to make the poem flow. Just change the line to: “he was wearing his helmet cover, with the green side out.” Semper Fi!!

  • Gary Nash, 0302, RVN 5/67-6/68 and 10/68-2/69

    OK, who’s going to set the record straight?
    Loved the poem, Christmas with the Corps, but I maintain that one line is incorrect. Another Marine and Vietnam vet says that he has no recollection of a poncho liner.
    The one line I question is, “he was wearing his poncho with the green side out”: I say that there were not TWO sides to the poncho, but there were two sides to the poncho LINER.
    He well remembers his poncho, but not the poncho LINER. At age 79, I may be losing it, but I’m still remembering the poncho liner that helped a little bit from those cold nights in I Corps during monsoon season!

  • Fred Horsley

    Merry Christmas to all my brothers, who are not going to be home for Christmas. You will never have to
    worry as you are all in my heart and prayers. As a”MARINE VETERAN” i know how it feels to be thousand of miles away from love one’s. As we celebrate holiday i promise in my house you will not be
    forgotten. May God look over you all, and thank you for your service.

    Semper Fi

  • James Hall

    From a hooch in the ville
    Where we huckered from chill
    We heard him bark out
    As he rode out of sight
    Piss on you all
    It’s a hell of a night.

    Merry Christmas to all…..

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