Saigon, now known as Ho Chi Minh city, was the South Vietnamese capital during the Vietnam War. "This song," Daniels told Songfacts
, "came at me from two different directions; from our producer at the time, John Bowman, and from a group called Vietnam Vets of America, somebody had found it. Dan Daley had written it and it was very much in with the way that I felt about the Vietnam veterans, because it was so totally unfair how these people were treated when they came back from a war that they had nothing to do with starting.
That was the drug generation. How screwed up could their minds get that young men and women would go over to a war in Southeast Asia and then intentionally kill babies and stuff? That's not what our military's about. It's picking bad apples, I know that. Every time there's the slightest misstep they blow it up and magnify it all out of proportion while the good things that are done are not even mentioned.
It's a proven fact now that that prolonged the war. It cost the lives of Americans, because the Vietnamese had already admitted that they had thought about quitting, about giving up. And along comes John Kerry, and along comes all the stuff that was generated by the media, basically. And when these guys came home from over there, some had the temerity to spit on these people. That's beyond the pale. You can't spit on somebody. That's a huge, huge insult. I went around and talked to Vietnam vets before I recorded that song, because I'd never been to Vietnam. I thought it was a very personal experience. And I went around and talked to some of the guys, 'How do you feel about me recording this?' I had a guy, ex-Green-Beret, working security with me at the time, and he said, 'Do it.' So I did. And I've always been glad that I did, because it was, I guess, the first song of support for the Vietnam veterans."