The film ‘American Sniper’, the true story of Chris Kyle starring Bradley Cooper reminded me of a song that I love.
It is the country song is “American Soldier’ written by Toby Keith and Chris Cannon. I remember the first time I heard it I didn’t know the title. The lyrics draw you in but doesn’t tell you right away where you are going.
‘I’m just trying to raise a daughter and a son./ Be a lover to their mother and everything to everyone /Up and at em bright and early I’m all business in my suit/Yeah I’m dressed up for success from my head down to my boots’ (American Soldier by Toby Keith and Chuck Cannon)
I thought he was singing about a regular guy going to work to provide for his family. Then he sings:
‘I don’t do it for the money, there are bills that I can’t pay./ I don’t do it for the glory, I just do it anyway’ (American Soldier by Toby Keith and Chuck Cannon)
Then I thought he doesn’t do it for the money! What kind of job is that?
‘And I can’t call in sick on Monday when the weekends been too strong/ I just work straight through the holidays and sometimes all night long’ (American Soldier by Toby Keith and Chuck Cannon)
That’s when I knew this was a special kind of man and I thought ‘he’s a soldier’
I was right! What a great idea for a song.
‘I will always do my duty no matter what the price. /I’ve counted up the cost. I know the sacrifice./ Oh and I don’t want to die for you but if dyin’s asked of me /I’ll bear that cross with honor ‘cause freedom don’t come free’(American Soldier by Toby Keith and Chuck Cannon)
This was Chris Kyle and all of the warriors who fight for us. It is a volunteer service. They could stay home and not put themselves in danger. But they don’t. They think it is worth it and they have a sense of responsibility for their own safety and that of their country. The men and women who choose this life of sacrifice should be honored. They are not perfect people. None of us are perfect. But they do something 99% of us choose not to do.
Toby Keith sings this song all over the world to our bravest when he visits the troops every year. It is their favorite song.