This song explores the concept of post traumatic stress disorder, as James Hetfield sings of a soldier whose constant struggle with PTSD prevents him from living normally. The Metallica frontman explained to So What
that the condition is widespread in today's society and not just restricted to the armed forces.
"Shellshock in the military and being put into horrific scenes is one pretty obvious sign of PTSD, and coming home from that, trying to come home and still living that, and having a fear of seeing something that's affected you so greatly as a trauma inside you that it's carried home. The movie American Sniper
[was] a great, great portrayal of that. Hooked on the, 'I gotta save my brothers, if I don't go back they're gonna die.' Using again that kind of 'martyr' as an excuse for the addiction of the drama of the war, and neglecting his family at home.
So, it kinda ties into the other songs, but PTSD is everywhere, man. Things that happen to you in your childhood, or you know, sports figures, anyone who wears a uniform, who's gone out there and portrayed a life of service, giving, or using force, power. 'Go out there and kill. Go out there and get 'em.'"