On June 17, 2005 my first born son, Hoss, was born. I was so happy, truly over joyed to have a son. During those first few hours of his life in the hospital I just kept holding him. I did on occasion let my wife hold him and the doctors from time to time would take him from me for a quick check up. But then it was right back into daddy’s arm where he belonged. About the fourth hour of his life my wife wanted to sleep some, so I again joyfully took baby Hoss from her and held him in my arms while both he and mom deservedly slept. As they slept I just stood in the room rocking our baby boy back and forth while occasionally looking out the window or glancing at the TV. And it was with one of those glances at the TV that I experienced one of those moments in life that I will never forget.
As I held my newborn son in my arms, I looked up at the television that was broadcasting a news clip of a mother who had just recently found out that her son had been killed in action. Through tears this brave woman expressed how proud she was of her fallen son and what a joy it was to have had him as long as she had and how she was going to hold onto the memories of his life. I was in shock, here I am holding my newborn son in my arms and this woman will never get to hold her baby boy again…. I kept thinking that 19 or 20 years before, she was holding him in her arms, seeing his eyes for the first time… Experiencing that wonderful joy of having a son…and wondering what he would become.
And, now, this. It wasn’t supposed to be this way. This event left me emotionally drained for two days. I didn’t say much, I was mad and quietly grieving for the woman that I saw on TV. I honestly felt like I needed to say something; do something; I just didn’t know what to do. Then on the third day it came to me what I needed to do. With my wife and son now home with me, I went to my music studio and in about an hour of time the song Soldier Boy was complete.
Though done, it took me two and a half months to sing it. It was just too emotional. If I just looked at the first line of the music, I would start to cry. It would be several years later before I could take it to the studio and sing it the way it deserved to be sung. Even then I broke down and cried.
Songs come to writers through infinite means and inspirations. Sometimes they come from a beautiful sunset or the smile on a child’s face. This song however came through a mother tears. And I am forever grateful to her and her son and to all of the fallen sons and daughters and their families for the freedom that my family and I and this nation share.
Thank you so very much.