Banner County Soldier is a story loosely based on the lead singer and accordion player Seamus and Patrick's Grand uncle Matt. He emigrated to New York from the County Clare (known as the Banner County) and lived with my Grandparents when he first came here. He got a job as a Local 147 Sandhog, the labor union responsible for tunnel labor, building the city water tunnel, Holland, Lincoln and Brooklyn Battery Tunnel and a Union largely known for being predominantly Irish.
The story goes that he was drafted by the Army to be sent to Vietnam. His family tried to convince him to fly home and avoid war at all costs. He saw going back to Ireland as a dead end with little to no work there and he saw serving in the war as a guarantee to solidifying his place here in America for him and his future family.
"... I pushed a shovel and I held a rifle to stay in the USA."
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