When my grandpa finished talkingWe went walking, he and I
I was thinking of the future and how scared I was to die
Now my best friend’s overseas in the desert where it’s dry
Fighting for our country and I need a reason why
I Remember When he was a younger man
Now he’s a soliderFighting in a foreign land
Now we’re older
God bring him home again
I had a friend send me this song recently and I cannot get it out of my head.
War and music are so intimately tied together and this song really hits home for me. It is haunting. The lyrics capture the uncertainty, doubt, and worry that go hand in hand with conflict. It is told in the form of a story by a WWII vet, who has shared it with his grandson, who now sees his own grandson go off to fight a war.
With the best friend headed off to scary places soon, it really hit me in the gut. Hearing it created this moment where the world just stopped. It was one of those moments where you are fully conscious of the fact that it is a moment and take stock of the details.
This happened once before the first deployment. He had just received the firm date and it was earlier than expected. He had just had a short leave, and we thought he would get another one before he left. All I could think about was that I had not given him a proper hug before he left. I was sitting in a lecture hall listening to former Congressman Lee Hamilton speak. He talked about his philosophy on foreign policy, how important he thought diplomacy was, and how politicians always have to be cognizant that when diplomacy fails, it will be boys from Indiana doing the fighting and doing the dying. I felt sucker punched, because it was the moment where reality set in for me. The best friend was going to fight. in a war.
With the final verse, this song did that for me again.
I know we have some time yet, but I'm praying for you already.