Friday November 11, 2011 is Veterans Day in the US and I decided to dedicate an Ultimate 80s Playlist to those who have sacrificed so much for my country and freedom. I never had the calling to serve in the military, but over the last 10 years, I've grown to deeply appreciate my friends, family members, and acquaintances who have served our country. It is a sacrifice...one that can only be made known truly to those who have experienced it. We who have not experienced it first hand, are fortunate to have films, stories, and music to communicate the life of a soldier. This playlist is not your typical patriotic playlist. There are songs that talk about the great country we live in, but also songs that talk about what it takes to defend it and the aftermath.
The more we do to learn and appreciate our country's history, the more this holiday (and Memorial Day) mean to us. Which in turn, will also mean more to our veterans when we simply say..."Thank You."
This song's title refers to the chemical weapon Agent Orange used in the Vietnam War. Wikipedia cites that Michael Stipe once explained that the song was about a young American football player leaving the comforts of home for the war in Vietnam.
Band members and writers James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich used the 1939 novel Johnny Got His Gunby Dalton Trumbo for theme and lyrics to this song. The book is a story of a World War I soldier who has been severely wounded by a mortar shell and awakes a prisoner of his own body.
One of Rolling Stone's500 Greatest Songs of All Time. This song is widely known for being misinterpreted, famously by President Ronald Reagan. Springsteen wrote this song as a tribute to his friends that were lost in the Vietnam War and also the hardships of veterans who returned.