The Face of Victory

I lost my job and joined the army
To get an education
And I most surely did
Wanted to have some kinda steady job
Lead a decent life
Support me and my wife and kid
First I was based in Texas
Then it was off to Germany
Then they sent us to Iraq
So many ruined buildings
So many burned up bodies
Twisted railroad track
We were sent off to Falluja
Told to keep the peace
Amidst such hunger and despair
I was just nineteen
I didn’t have a clue
What we were doing there
Now they say the war is over
And I’m back at home
Here in the land of the free
And you’re looking at the face of victory

Patrolling thru Falluja
Driving on the rubble
Shattered pavement and shattered glass
They sent us on the search for weapons
We looked in every basement
Never found a single barrel of gas
And when we saw the cities looted
While we watched the oil pipelines
It all began to seem so clear
We were fighting for Exxon
And dying for Chevron
That’s what we were doing here
They told us we’d be welcomed
As troops of liberation
And once again they lied
We got shot at every day
Everywhere we went
A bunch of my buddies died
A rocket launcher hit my tank
Started up a fire
Blew my legs right off of me
And now you’re looking at the face of victory

They sent me back to Michigan
Put some plastic on my stumps
Sent me on my way
And now I roll on down the city streets
Looking at the people
While they turn their eyes away
Down at the Burren
They were talking about the government
And how it’s all a ruse
And I get a little madder
Every time I see the president
Smirking on the evening news
And I think of how they duped me
And so many more good people
And I think of the price we paid
The rich keep getting richer
And the bastards are already scheming
About the next nation they want us to invade
And I just keep on thinking
About this situation
I think of Oklahoma City
Yeah, you’re looking at the face of victory

Sheet music for this song may be found in Songbook Vol I (1997-2004).

“The Face of Victory” appears on Songs for Mahmud (CD, 2004).

The latest wave of traumatized military veterans were just starting to return from Afghanistan and Iraq when I wrote this song.