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Sgt. Christopher Tomlinson on the war, the CD and sucka MCs

Voices' raison d'être:

"For somebody to be able to look at us and instead of idolizing what's so bad, which is all we get on CNN and everything else in between about what the Army's done wrong or what this country's done wrong -- because everybody has their own opinion, which they're entitled to -- you get to hear the truth. Not the truth about whether we think this war is right or wrong, because none of us took that turn on the album. ... But just to say, regardless of worrying about this as right or wrong or indifferent or in between, we're there and this is what my life is."

Coming home:

"The first thing I did was fish out my wife, who at the time was just my fiancée. For the first time I was allowed to hug her and allowed to be me to her. I fished her out after my mom and my sister attacked me. ... Being able to be her man was the best part of that for me."

"Listening to Amp's verse [on "When I Get Home"], when he talks about being on the plane, flying high. Exactly. I've been in that plane seat. Any soldier that's ever deployed knows what that plane felt like. That 18-hour trip is the longest of your life, 'cause all you can think about is what's going to happen when you land. I love that song."

Readjusting to life in America:

"Now nothing defeats me. It can't. After what I've been through, how can I let anything else get to me? I'm a lot more aware of the world and what's out there, and I think that it's helped me in the way of broadening my horizons to see different cultures and different parts of the world and be a part of that."

Glorification of violence in commercial hip-hop:

"Watch this, I'm gonna have 900 rappers come at me for this one, but it comes down to the people who glorify it: Have they ever done it? That's how I look at it. People that want to sit there and glorify it through their music because it's mainstream and popular, have you ever taken somebody's life before? You know who's done it, because we don't talk about it, or we talk about it in a different light because it's not glorious. I don't see how anybody can tell a 15-year-old kid that it's OK or that it makes you cool, because it doesn't. I know that first-hand. Every birthday, every holiday, I live with the fact that somebody ain't there and it's because of me."

Legacy:

"I was actually cleaning my weapon when 9/11 happened, and it hit me, 'Oh crap, I'm going to do something.' After that, I realized that I picked the right job for me. I've always been one to stand up. I don't fall back; I don't sit down. I stand up and face it. And for me to be a part of that and make history to where one day my son is going to read in the history book about what his mom and dad did, I'm OK with that and very proud of it."

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