details the physical and emotional effects of combat experience. Vocalist Geoff Tate explained this song on AnybodyListening.net
: "Shoot or die? What are you going to do? On the battlefield, you have to make that decision and you have to react quickly. Fundamentally, I think the song is about judgment - making the call and standing by your actions. This song wasn't inspired by any one interview; it was a combination of all of them. All the battle veterans I interviewed had the same perspective: kill or be killed.
The other idea represented in this song was how do non-military people relate to what the soldier experiences in battle. One soldier said that on his return from the Gulf War, his mother wouldn't even talk to him because she thought that what he did as a soldier was disgusting; it went against her religion. She felt so strongly about it that she couldn't even look him in the face. There's a line in the song that other people have written before, and I have used in other songs, 'You can't begin to imagine where I've been until you've walked in my shoes.' It's a very true statement and one that maybe we should all contemplate."