90 Proof Lies (Survivor)

Feb 22, 2014

Survivor’s Guilt is a common feeling among those coming home from war and leaving their fellow brothers and sisters behind. While many of us may think the veterans coming home are the lucky ones, they often do not feel that way. It is very difficult for them to understand why they are still living while their friends are not.

At the end of January, 2014, Marine veteran, Steven Cobb, shared with songwriters what it feels like to leave friends behind after war. With them, he was able to create a song full of emotion that the rest of the world can listen to and understand. Steven explains through his lyrics how veterans must learn how to live again when they experience Survivor’s Guilt and PTSD.

“I got to live, now I’ve got to learn to live with me”
It is not easy for veterans to open up to the songwriters in Nashville, so every song created is a huge accomplishment. However, Steven says, “I was fortunate to talk to Jeremy Janssen (a veteran who previously went through the CreatiVets program) before I agreed to go to Nashville and meet with the writers; he eased all my fears and answered all my questions before I arrived.” Steven really valued how professional the writers were and how grateful they were for his service.

One part of Steven’s song that really stands out tells of his appreciation for his family. “But she told me the truth I didn’t wanna see, ‘I miss the man I married, lay down that load you carry’.” As a Marine who has seen the horrors of war in both Iraq and Afghanistan (Iraq: Jan-Oct 2005, Mar-Oct 2008 and Afghanistan: Oct 2009-Apr 2010), it is often hard for people to relate to his experiences. However, his wife Kate is both supportive of Steven and can understand where his feelings come from. Kate is a Marine as well, and she served during 3 deployments to Iraq (Feb-sep 2004, Feb-sep 2006, Feb-Aug 2008). Kate has believed in Steven throughout all of his struggles, and has helped him to feel better about himself. CreatiVets thanks both of them for their service, and for their support of one another after war.

Kate says her husband had some very traumatic experiences in Afghanistan and she is so proud of how far he has come reconnecting with himself; for himself, for her, and for their children. A quote from Kate sums up her love for him: “He really liked going to Nashville. I love the song he wrote and I’m so proud of the man my husband has become and the man, and father, he is. I pray every night for his heart to be relieved of the burdens and pain he feels and I truly feel this experience has helped him a lot. Thank you so much CreatiVets!”

90 Proof Lies (Survivor)

by Stevan Cobb, Bob Regan, Tim Hicks, Bart Allmand, Richard Casper (OBCV) Copyright © 2014

Route red route red
Same color as the blood he shed
Wheel ruts mud huts
It’s a movie playing in my head

A day a routine day
Who knew it would end this way
I took two steps he took three
Now the war lives on in me

Why wasn’t it me who fell
That day everything went straight to hell
Wife and kids back in San Anton’
I’m the one that got to come back home
Survivor do I deserve to be a survivor
I got to live now I got to learn to live with me

Whiskey whiskey
Told 90 proof lies to me
Said you’re fine just fine
Man up you’re a damn Marine

But she told me the truth I didn’t want to see
Said I miss the man I married
Boy lay down that load you carry


Now I hold my little girl she makes me want to believe
That I can find my hope maybe only God can see