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Singled Out: Leslie Tom's Didn't Think Twice

11/11/2016
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Leslie Tom

Leslie Tom is releasing her brand new single "Didn't Think Twice" today (Veteran's Day, November 11th) and to celebrate we asked her to tell us the moving story behind the track. Here is the story:

When I began working on my third studio project and happened to watch a video on YouTube called "Just A Common Solider" I knew I had to write a song as a tribute to my grandfather and his service to our country during WWII.

Within a few days of D-Day, on June 6, 1944, Milton Smallwood Alexander, a 26- year-old Texan and my grandfather, landed on the shores of Normandy with a tank regiment of the Third Armored Division. As a tank driver, he was one of the brave Americans who liberated France, Belgium, and then Germany before returning home to resume a "normal life." Like many of the Veterans of WWII, nightmares must have wrestled in his head of that horrific war, especially those of fighting in the Battle of the Bulge and watching his best friend die beside him as a deuce-and-a-half accidentally rolled over him, ultimately saving my grandfather's life. For that generation of men, war was not discussed, though we can only surmise that the experiences they had were with the "Greatest Generation" for a lifetime.

With this generation of men (and women) quickly passing away, I wanted to write a song that told their story but that other veterans and active-duty service men and women could relate to as well. As Billy O'Rourke and I began working on this song, the theme that kept coming back during the songwriting process was the thought that those men and most soldiers, sailors, marines, and airmen "Didn't Think Twice" about their sacrifices and would do it all over again a hundred times over if given the chance. The first two verses of the song are biographical but the last verses and bridge are generic and were purposely written so that any veteran from any war could relate. We also purposely wrote the song to address suicide since we lose approximately 22 vets a day.

As an artist, singing a song honoring our military and veterans is one of my favorite parts of every show. As a songwriter, penning something so personal and emotional was life altering for me. My only regret about this song is I didn't have the words to write it before my grandfather died.

Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen for yourself and learn more about the single right here!

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