Joel didn't perform on this song because he wanted someone closer to the age of the average American soldier to do it. Cass Dillon, who like Joel is from Long Island, was 21 when he sang this. He came to Joel's attention through Tommy Byrnes, a guitarist in Billy's band and a musical consultant for the Movin' Out Broadway musical. Byrnes heard Cass perform an acoustic set at the Drama Cafe in Baldwin, New York, and began to work with him, eventually introducing him to Joel, who said: "I wanted to help somebody else's career. I've had plenty of hits. I've had plenty of airplay. I've had my time in the sun. I think it's time for somebody else, maybe, to benefit from my own experience."