|Single by Toby Keith|
|from the album Shock'n Y'all|
|Released||November 24, 2003|
|Format||CD single, 7"|
|Toby Keith singles chronology|
"American Soldier" is a song co-written and recorded by American country music artist Toby Keith. It was released in November 2003 as the second single from his album Shock'n Y'all. It became a number one hit on the Billboard U.S. Hot Country Songs chart, keeping the top spot for four weeks. Keith wrote the song with Chuck Cannon.
Keith said that the song was written "for all the times that I get to meet the troops on these USO tours, and since Courtesy of Red, White, and Blue, the P.O.W.s and the families that have come and brought me back my old CD covers and stuff that they had and shown how much support they had (for me), this is my support for the American fighting men and women."
"American Soldier" is about an American in the Army Reserves. As he gets dressed and packs his bags for deployment, various clips show soldiers from different wars in different time periods in U.S. history, such as the Civil War and World War II. Although each soldier is in a different battle and time period, notably the American Civil War, World War I, World War II, Vietnam War and Iraq War; but all of them exemplify the traits of an American soldier - just, loyal, fearless and brave. Meanwhile, the family arrives at a U.S. military base where he will be flown off to training camp. After saying goodbye to his wife and children, he boards a cargo plane, ready to serve his country.
This song debuted at number 53 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs chart on the chart dated November 22, 2003, at the same time that his single "I Love This Bar" was at Number One. It was certified Platinum by the RIAA on December 10, 2013, slightly more than ten years after its release. The song reached its millionth digital sales mark in the US in January 2017, and has sold 1,032,000 as of July 2017.
The music video was directed by Michael Salomon and was released on December 13, 2003. It was filmed on location at Edwards Air Force Base in Edwards, California and features off-duty soldiers, reservists and their families. The video portrays a man who gets a phone call early one morning to go to war. He gets himself and his family ready in the morning, the guy acting like it's just another day, and they head off to a military base for him to leave for the war. He hugs his wife and kids, and gets on the plane, while his family watches sadly and wave goodbye from the gate as the plane leaves. Inter-cut between this are scenes of soldiers from the Civil War, World War I, World War II, Vietnam, and Desert Storm, and shots of Toby performing the song in a military aircraft garage.