Here's what Blythe had to say about the song's meaning during the Full Metal Jackie interview: "Basically, the song is about when you're going through a hard time, you have to do things to get through hard times, sometimes uncomfortable things you got to do, what you got to do, as they say, but after you've surpassed whatever obstacle you're facing, sometimes the old behaviors remain, and they're only useful at certain times.
This song, particularly, Mark started writing from the viewpoint of a Vietnam veteran who had gone over to fight in Vietnam, which has always been a fascinating era to me, that era of our country's history, and while over there picked up a nice heroin habit in order to deal with the stress of combat and then came home and retained that habit. None of us went to Vietnam, I was barely born, but it's real-life stuff and I know some Vietnam veterans and they certainly had some problems after coming out of there and they weren't doing any sort of psychological preparation for them at that point in time to deal with the stress of combat or what happens afterwards, so we kind of used that as a metaphor for doing what you have to do to get though times of extreme duress.
Once those times are over, you have to move on, and I don't know there's a lot of guys coming back from the Middle East, I don't know if our government is preparing them well enough to return to civilian life, which I think is really criminal. When these guys sign up, they sign a contract, they agree to a job and we should give them every benefit possible when they return to civilian life, whether that be psychological help, or medical help - any of that stuff. They go over there, train real hard and do a deadly job then come home sometimes and it's really hard for them to integrate back into normal society. It would be hard for me if I spent nine months in Afghanistan getting shot at to all of a sudden be going to Walmart. It's two different worlds so that's what that song is about."