Thursday, May 29, 2008

A Salute to Ron Kovic: An American Hero

Ever since I read Ron Kovic's unforgettable memoir Born on the Fourth of July back in the 1980s and watched Oliver Stone's brilliant 1989 film version of Born on the Fourth of July starring Tom Cruise, I've admired him as a hero and a patriot. Kovic, a former Marine who was wounded in Vietnam and came home a paraplegic, eventually became an antiwar activist and joined Vietnam Veterans Against the War. Over the years, Kovic has been fearless in his resistance to all wars. My first book, The Turning: A History of Vietnam Veterans Against the War, was directly inspired by Kovic's heroic example. I've just watched a deeply moving video of Ron Kovic speaking about his personal experiences in Vietnam and he does a brilliant job linking his ordeal to the Iraq War. Do yourself a favor: Drag your little arrow down, tap on the video screen below and watch and listen. I can tell you one thing: By the time it was over, I couldn't keep my eyes dry. After all these years, Ron Kovic remains a true American hero.

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