Perfect song to start the story-telling from the viewpoint of a woman, a lover. Also refers to the old ways when there were camp followers in the early American wars, where family and others camped outside of the battlefields to follow the battles, care for their loved ones, to bring them food, even to provide them with weapons. So this lover sells her reel and clock etc to pay for a sword. She is dressed in red to signify that she is married. This song pre-dates the American Revolution.
The number of vets taking their own lives surpassed combat casualties long ago for the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Medical science has allowed many more people to survive combat injuries, but the toll on spirit, mind, mental health, heart…what do they come home to, how do they live with their experiences?