Local Electrician Has Country Music Moment In Iraq | News
ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- David "Eli" Grimes lives near St. Augustine, but to be specific his town is Picolata.
The small, St. John's County community sits on Highway 13. The only thing blocking his view of the river are a couple Spanish moss-covered trees.
"I love it here," Grimes said, "It really made me think of how good I have it when I was over there."
The "over there" he's referring to is Basrah, Iraq. Grimes is an electrician, and was contracted by the Army to look over the array of generators that powered the entire encampment.
He said the job offer couldn't have come at a better time. He needed a steady paycheck, having been laid off three times in five years.
But he said it wasn't all about the money.
"I was too young for Vietnam and too old for the Gulf War, so I thought this could be my way to serve the country," he said.
So he spent five months in a war zone. He said there were days when his camp would take constant bombing and enemy fire.
"I mean, these guys didn't have much to keep the morale up, so we'd go over to the USO and get some instruments and play some music."
So instead of running back to his home on the river, he focused on the music.
He said his whole trip would be dedicated to writing a song about the war, from the perspective of the troops.
"So I asked them if they could have anything right now, what it would be, and besides a few jokes, they all said they'd want to be home."
So he wrote a country tune called "Back To The Good Ole USA," and recorded it back here in the states during a two week rest and relaxation period.