Slaid Cleaves

Dear Slaid,

I'm studying at the university of Duisburg-Essen (Germany) and am currently writing my Master thesis about the (re)functionalization of songs from the Vietnam War period to Iraq. I am planning of including "Still fighting the war" in my analysis (I hope you don't mind). In an interview you stated that you were inspired by your co-writer Ron Coy, who told you the story of a Vietnam veteran. So my question is twofold:
1. Why did you change the setting from Vietnam to Iraq?
2. Do you see any differences/parallels between Vietnam veterans and Iraq veterans? Particularly with regard to their treatment?

I would really appreciate a reply.
Thx in advance.

Yours, Robin

Slaid Cleaves responded on 02/22/2016

Hi Robin,

I'm honored to be included in your analysis. Though I mention Fallujah , the song was meant to tell the story of all returning soldiers, from Odysseus (who had one heluva time returning home) to today's wounded warriors. I could have mentioned Khe Sanh or Guadalcanal to focus the song on Viet Nam or WWII - and if I took out the "VA on the phone" line I could substitute Gettysburg or Waterloo or Agincourt or Troy without changing any other line. I'm no scholar on the subject, but it seems to me every nation or kingdom which has sent its people off to war does so with great gusto and welcomes them home with a short ceremony followed by neglect and apathy.

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