Fri 11 Nov, 2011 11:11 am
In honor of Veterans Day the American Statesman interviewed active-duty soldiers and veterans from the Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam wars about the role music plays in their lives. On Austin360Radio.com, you can hear those interviews today, as well as the songs that are special to the soldiers. The interviews run every hour at 20 minutes past the hour with a one-hour special at 6 p.m.
When one soldier, Staff Sgt. James Cooper, 42, begins to miss his wife and his children back home at Fort Hood, he puts on some Lou Rawls -- "You'll Never Find Another Love Like Mine" -- and his mind drifts away from the harsh realities of the war in Afghanistan.
For Dylan Chambers, 26, an Austin Community College student who served two tours in Iraq, hard-core metal music helped prepare him for missions that included providing convoy security for troops during the height of the Iraqi violence. Texas heavy metal band Pantera, in particular, helped the Dallas born soldier get through the war. "It definitely helps get you in the right mindset if you need a little boost," he said. "Pantera would get me ready to do something a little crazier."
Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and Jim Morrison all died while we were overseas. The usual range of popular music of the late 60s and early 70s got played, but those three in particular.
In boot camp, it was a song by Buddy Holly: Maybe Baby. I sang it to myself so constantly that others began giving me those "looks." After that, it was Ray Charles: I Can't Stop Loving You. I thought it the most beautiful record I had ever listened to. Overseas, it was Sukiyaki, by Kyu Sakamoto. During my final months, everything was Bob Dylan.
I get why the music Jimi Hendrix and Jim Morrison and, so sad, they even died while you were there. But, I'm trying to imagine Janis Joplin's gravely voice -- well, I suppose Ican see why. My sister had that kind of voice and she couldn't scream at all.
I remember Maybe Baby. And yeah, I can see why it would be , then only, Bob Dylan. Fascinating guy with all those words.
Thanks, guys. We're leaving our flag up thru Sunday.
I've read piles of books about all those wars 'over there' during the middle ages. Their battle cries, what they did with all those different weapons on each soldier. Can't see why they were any different than the American Indian Braves, where war was a career, the only career.