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article imageSoldier's Silent Night video becomes holiday hit

By Kim I. Hartman     Dec 20, 2011 in World
As Christmastime approaches a video circulating on the Internet wants us to remember the soldiers spending Christmas alone in foreign lands while we are home enjoying our family, friends and freedom.
The video was uploaded to YouTube a few days ago, and is destined to become one of the top shared viral videos of the 2011 holiday season.
It features a poem that was originally titled "Merry Christmas, My Friend," written by Lance Corporal James M. Schmidt in 1987 while serving as a Battalion Counter Sniper at the Marine Barracks 8th & I in Washington, DC. Schmidt went on to become an entertainment lawyer in California after completing his military service, according to Snopes.
Schmidt said, "I wrote this poem to hang on the door of the Gym in the BEQ. When Colonel D.J Myers came upon it, he read it and immediately had copies sent to each department at the Barracks and promptly dismissed the entire Battalion early for Christmas leave. The poem was placed that day in the Marine Corps Gazette, distributed worldwide and later submitted to Leatherneck Magazine."
Since that time the poem has become a perennial favorite of Marines and soldiers around the world. It was posted on YouTube by KimWolfert1, and has received over a million views in under a week.
The audio recording played on the YouTube adapted version was created by Father Ted Berndt and his daughter Ellen Stout. "Father Berndt was a priest at Bread of Life Charismatic Episcopal Church in Dousman, Wisconsin. He was a proud Marine, and a WWII Purple Heart recipient," according to Bruce Robere.
Berndt's recording "received a national A.I.R. (Achievement in Radio) award from the March of Dimes and continues to be played in radio stations across the country," said Robere.
Father Berndt passed away March 19th, 2004. His daughter Ellen said, "His life mission was to touch lives, and to make a difference. We are blessed to share "A Soldier's Silent Night" again with you this Christmas."
More about soldiers silent night, Lance Corporal James M Schmidt, Christmas, 2011 holiday season, YouTube
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