When we sat down with Josh Gracin to talk about his new album, 'We Weren't Crazy,' the conversation drifted to the war in Iraq. Gracin, a former Marine, had some pretty strong opinions, especially on how the war is presented in the media. Below is the country star's personal stance on the work of our troops overseas, in his own words.

I was just in Knoxville and did something with a radio station there, WIVK. There's a DJ there named Gunner, and he does this thing with the 49th [Military Police Brigade] from Knoxville. They're stationed in Afghanistan and Iraq right now, and what they are is basically builders . . . And he gets them on satellite phone on the radio and talks to them for like 30 minutes, so their families can hear them talk. So I was talking to them, and hearing about the amazing things that are going on over there. We're talking about schools in places that never had schools; hospitals in places that have never had them; water purification systems. Afganistan and Iraq are being built up by us.

What irks me is that you don't hear about that, you don't see that. And they have internet, they have CNN. They can see what's being talked about, and they're off the front page now unless a soldier dies. You never hear about any good things. It's all political. And my whole take on it is that if people really knew what was going on, then they'd believe the same things I believe.

Now do I wanna stay there a long time? Absolutely not. It's not good for families. It's not good for the men and women over there. But when you take an oath, when you volunteer, that's your duty. That's your job. And they know that. And what I think needs to happen is there needs to be an influx. They need to send as many as we need to get the job done, to get it over with and to have a presence there like we do in Korea. We've had people in Korea . . . three thousand, maybe even six thousand soldiers in Korea since the 50s and 60s. They've stayed there. We have soldiers based in countries all over the world. So how is it different now? It's different because people are making it an issue.

Hollywood stars are so into charity and helping kids and AIDS and Darfur and everything like that. Well great things are being done in Iraq, too. They're building schools and hospitals. You name it, they're doing it. They're giving these kids and these families things they've never been given before. So it's funny to me how, when it's popular, it's accepted. But when people think it's unpopular, it's wrong. That just gets to me. So I think we should be there until the job is done. And if we pull out, it's gonna be worse.