Volunteers Lyrics - Mark Erelli

Mark Erelli Chords

I played with army men as a boy in my backyard
I was18 when I joined the National Guard
I cakewalked basic and they paid for my degree
All for filling up sandbags and clearing storm debris

I had just re-upped at the base in my hometown
But the whole deal changed on the day that the planes went down
Just a casual soldier, 12 weekends a year
I was Baghdad bound when they called up the volunteers
We'd seen more than enough to know that war is hell
But we were thinking that we had it made once the capital fell
We partied in the palace while we waited to withdraw
'Til things started going south both sides of the wall

First the looting, the suicide bombers and IED's
Then the prisons, the torture and all those pictures on TV
The kickbacks, the blackouts, the martyrs and the fear
Now everyone in Babylon blames the volunteers

We hit a roadside bomb on a convoy late one night
I was fine but this buddy of mine probably should have died
They radioed a Medevac and I tried to keep him warm
Now he's back home learning how to feed himself with two new arms

And there are others who suffer from wounds that you can't see
So they try to forget and go back home to their jobs and their families
Yeah, we got paid, no one made us come over here
But it ain't close to an even trade for the volunteers

Maybe we'll all be judged by history and God
Maybe the best way to honor the departed is to finish the job
But while they argue who's winning, and whether we should go or stay
Over here it's a victory just to make it through another day

Me I'm long past making any sense of the blood I've spilled
It's hard to believe all this is part of any God's will
And if you find I've fallen after all the smoke has cleared
Let the record show
I volunteered