In a Songfacts interview with Jim Brickman, he talked about writing this song with Ondrasik: "When you co-write there's always a dynamic between two people - the way that they connect. For example, John and I complement each other but we're very much alike in the sense that on the outside we have trouble expressing our emotions but on the inside, when we write a song, they just come pouring out. His songs, if you really listen to them, are very much like that and so are mine.
So, when we sat down, this started with an idea that wasn't the troops idea. It started as an anthem/hymn type of thing based on church music or on very simple American themes, and it grew from there to where we started thinking about, where are the deepest emotions felt? Well, they're felt by people who are away from each other during the holidays. That's a time when everybody's talking about togetherness and family and friendship, and the ones that are the farthest away, literally, are the men and women who serve in the military. That's how we started down that road."