The following Christmas poem was recently sent to me, and in honor of our troops, I thought it appropriate to include it here.

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 eyes 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 at 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 "Its 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 sister and brother.

Who stand at the front against any and all,
To ensure 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."

Happy holidays to all. Until next issue, take care.   more...
San Diego, CA – The U.S. Marshals San Diego Fugitive Task Force is actively searching for Leonard Francis, also known as “Fat Leonard,” the military contractor who pleaded guilty in 2015 of bribing Navy officials and was on home-confinement in San Diego weeks before he was scheduled to be sentenced in a $35 million bribery scandal, allegedly cut off his GPS monitor and left his home on the morning of Sept. 4.

U.S. Pretrial Services, the federal agency in charge of monitoring his home confinement, received an alert that his GPS ankle monitor was being tampered with. Upon following their protocols, Pretrial Services notified the U.S. Marshals about the GPS alert.

Third Defendant Pleads Guilty to Multimillion Dollar Tax Fraud Scheme Involving Professional Athletes and a PPP Loan Fraud Scheme

A California man has pleaded guilty to conspiring with others in schemes to defraud the IRS and the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), a federal loans initiative designed to help businesses pay their employees and meet expenses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to court documents and statements made in court, Thanh Ngoc Rudin, 58, was a principal of Mana Tax Services, a tax preparation business in the Los Angeles area. Rudin engaged in a conspiracy to commit two sets of fraud schemes using Mana Tax.

By Holly Wetzel

MIDLAND, Mich. — An integrated resource plan approved yesterday by the Michigan Public Service Commission will leave Michigan residents more likely to have electricity that is less reliable and more expensive.

The plan will allow Consumers Energy, a monopoly utility that provides electric and natural gas services to 6.7 million Michigan residents, to close down more of the state’s reliable sources of energy. The plan allows Consumers to decommission the last of its coal plants by 2025, or 15 years earlier than planned.

Consumers plans to purchase an existing natural gas facility in Covert and will keep another gas plant, the Karn facility, as a “peaking” plant. The Karn plant will supplement the electric supply during periods of high demand. The plan state regulators approved also allows the utility to build more than 8 gigawatts of weather-dependent solar as well as battery storage.

EDINBURG, Texas – Rio Grande Valley Sector (RGV) agents arrested three criminal migrants and seven gang members this week preventing them from infiltrating our communities.

On May 16, Falfurrias Border Patrol Station (FLF) agents apprehended 18 migrants near Falfurrias. Among the group was a registered sex offender from Guatemala who was convicted in 2013 of sexual intercourse with a minor under 18. The migrant has an active warrant in California for probation violations relating to the 2013 conviction.

DETROIT — Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Office of Field Operations intercepted more than a ton of marijuana at the Fort Street Cargo Facility, May 11.

An x-ray scan of an inbound tractor trailer and subsequent physical inspection conducted by officers and a K-9 team revealed 2,175 pounds of marijuana concealed within boxes manifested as foam pool toys.

The illicit cargo was seized along with the trailer.   more...