The song had the narrator talk of how she was devastated on hearing the news that her loved one, who had been fighting in the Vietnam War, had been shot and killed in action. Instead of being proud that her loved one had "fought for her", as people around her were claiming, all she wanted was him and not his honors for fighting the war, exclaiming that the man, disguised as "Private Johnny C. Miller", had been "fightin' for the evils of society". On the MSNBC program, Headliners And Legends: Martha & The Vandellas, Reeves commented that this song was pulled off many radio stations' playlists due to its controversial "anti-war" message during the height of the Vietnam War. Lead singer Martha Reeves took the song personally, recounting that one of her brothers had died in a Vietnam War-related incident. It was the first release off the Vandellas' Natural Resources Motown LP.