Leslie Tom's "Didn't Think Twice" is a powerful reminder of the sacrifices of service members and the struggles that remain even after men and women of the military return home. Tom, a Denver-based traditional country artist, was inspired to write the song after hearing the poem "Just a Common Soldier" and originally recorded the song with former Navy SEAL Pete Scobell.
The re-released version of the stirring song reflects the experiences of those that fought in WWII and features new music by the River Rats Band out of St. Louis, Missouri.
"The most important work I do as an artist is writing and performing songs that honor those that have served," Tom tells Wide Open Country. "'Didn't Think Twice' is the song I'm most proud of because it honors my grandfather's service during WWII and also provided financial support (for the original release) to the Travis Manion Foundation which empowers veterans and families of fallen heroes to develop character for future generations. I'm proud to say all proceeds from the re-release of this song will benefit the Association of 3D Armored Division Veterans, the Army division my grandfather proudly served during WWII."
For Tom, it's more than just a song -- it's her family history.
"Though Grandaddy and the 3AD were not on the shores of Normandy on June 6, 1944, he/they did fight through some of the most horrific parts of WWII, landing in Normandy a few days after D-Day in a Sherman tank and fighting through Germany, France and Belgium and suffering and surviving the Battle of the Bulge," Tom says. "Like most WWII veterans, after the war he returned to Runge, Texas where he resumed a 'normal' life, which included marrying my grandmother, Ruth Bell, opening a real estate and insurance business, raising my father and aunt and celebrating 60 years of marriage to Grandmommy before passing away at 90 in 2008. He never talked about the war except to share two stories with my Dad about his time in Europe, but we do know he was very proud to be a Spearhead, attending annual reunions well into his older years."
As the 75th anniversary of D-Day approaches, Tom says she hopes the song is a reminder to honor the sacrifices of service members every day.
"My hope is this song is a reminder to all generations that have benefited from those that have served our country that war may end, but the memories and nightmares never do," Tom says. "As we celebrate the 75th anniversary of D-Day this year, may we always honor those men and women that survived D-Day, WWII and all wars since."
Watch the video for "Didn't Think Twice," directed by Lou Baczewski, below.
One hundred percent of the proceeds from the re-release of "Didn't Think Twice" will benefit the Association of 3rd Armored Veterans. For more information, please visit www.3ad.org.