Mary Gauthier is part of an organization called Songwriting With Soldiers, a nonprofit that pairs professional songwriters with veterans. She wrote Rifles & Rosary Beads
from the stories the former soldiers told her about their experiences on the frontline.
"We just create a safe environment and we bear witness and non-judgment to their stories. We sit and listen, and then we turn it into a song with their approval. So they get the final say whether it's right or whether we need to work some more," Gauthier told The Boot
. "The process is very cathartic. There's almost always emotion involved - especially because they're wounded and they're carrying a lot of trauma."