Country music star Brad Paisley decided America needed to do more for its veterans, so he teamed with music legend John Fogerty for a searing song that demands America’s heroes get the respect and treatment they deserve.
The title track from Paisley’s 11th studio album, Love and War, talks about veterans and their mistreatment.
“They call ’em decorated heroes / And pin some medals on their chest / Give ’em a tiny little pension / Could we do much less?” Paisley and Fogerty sing, adding, “They send you off to die for us / Forget about you when you’re done.”
“I think the message is, really, we can do better,” Paisley said. “We can do a lot better when it comes to taking care of veterans. I don’t think there’s anyone who would disagree with that. There’s a line in the song which is one of my favorite lines, ‘We pin some medals on their chest, give them a little pension, could we do much less?’ It feels like we should be giving these people the moon. They should be getting anything they need from us.”
The video for the song was shot in San Diego on the decommissioned USS Midway, near a 25-foot tall statue that shows a World War II sailor kissing a nurse.
Paisley called the song a “scathing indictment,” but said it was necessary.
“Who could possibly disagree with this? I don’t feel like I’m out on some limb,” he said. “Everybody from John McCain to Jon Stewart, we all feel this. Somebody has dropped the ball. You don’t always know you’re right. I know we’re right on this.”
Paisley said including Fogerty was essential to the song.
“I was sort of crossing my fingers that he would want to go there again,” Paisley said. “It had been a while since he had sung about something like this and it’s a statement I wanted to make. When I told him (the idea), he said, ‘This is so what I want to say.'”
“Once I came up with the idea for that song I had it in mind to do that with John Fogerty, who was the voice of sort of musically the Vietnam era in some ways,” he added. “And you know, we think back to what we got wrong during Vietnam, which was that if you weren’t for the war somehow you weren’t for the troops either, and now we’re getting it right that we understand whether we agree or not with any sort of conflict that we honor these troops. But we’re not doing it in the greater scheme of things when it comes to health care and the V.A. and the things that we need to improve.
“So to me, I thought there’s some sort of song here that’s a bit of a protest song and it’s protesting the mistreatment of these guys that are heroes.”
Fogerty said the Vietnam era remains a thread throughout his life.
“I wasn’t shipped to Vietnam, but certainly being the same age and the same end zone, possibly, I had my eye on that all the way through,” Fogerty said. “We send people off do this great service for us and possibly die, but when they come home, we don’t treat them very well. That’s what we wanted to express in the song — we need to do something about that.”
“It’s so disheartening to come home,” he added. “Maybe you lost a leg, you certainly had your heart broken, and then wanting to start a new life but it’s hard to get traction. Whatever the war was, Vietnam or Iraq, you need assistance and I think that’s the thing we can really try harder to do.”
What do you think? Scroll down to comment below.