It was Labor Day in 2010 and I was slowly cruising around Berkeley California attempting to stock up the dorm room prior to courses beginning in the morning. The speakers and sub in the Pontiac were pumping out a broadcast from the only local Country radio station, when their DJ encouraged the audience to submit music requests that were inspired by their professions. This effort to honor the professions in the community was intriguing and inspiring to me. Later that evening, I mentioned this experience to John, who was intrigued, but quickly noted that it was a shame that music about military service is depressing.
I accepted his comment as a challenge. I was determined to expose an uplifting anthem for the American Veteran. The assumption was that the challenge would be a breeze, because Country music tends to be patriotic. Admittedly I am disappointed to acknowledge that I have failed, because whether it is James Otto’s Soldiers and Jesus or Toby Keith’s American Soldier, the emphasis is on service and sacrifice.