Independence Day, Some Notes and Reflections


In 1989, Oliver Stone released his second Vietnam War film, Born on the Fourth of July. Based on the autobiography of Ron Kovic, it begins with his boyhood, with his being raised with very conventional notions of patriotism and duty. Following high school graduation, he enlists in the Marine Corps, and during two tours of duty in Viet Nam, he tries to remain true to a code of honor that he again and again discovers that he cannot sustain in the midst of the ugly and often chaotic conditions of the war. He not only participates in the massacre of the residents of a Vietnamese village, but he also mistakenly kills a new member of his platoon during a fire fight with the Viet Cong. His war service ends when he suffers a terrible wound that leaves him a paraplegic.

He spends an extended recuperatory period in an VA…

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About martinkich

I am a Professor of English at Wright State University's Lake Campus, where I have been a faculty member for more than 25 years. I have now served multiple terms as the President of the WSU chapter of AAUP, which now includes all full-time instructional faculty, and as the Vice-President of the Ohio Conference of AAUP. I have also served several terms as an at-large member of the Executive Committee of AAUP's Collective Bargaining Congress. In addition to serving as co-editor of the Academe blog, I am also a member of the editorial board of Academe and have been a guest editor for an issue of the magazine on collective bargaining strategies. As co-chair of the Ohio Conference's Communication Committee, I began to do much more overtly political writing during the campaign to repeal Ohio's Senate Bill 5, which would have eliminated the right of faculty to be unionized. I have sustained that activism, and at the risk of stating the obvious, I have very much enjoyed contributing to the Academe Blog and to our chapter blog. I also maintain several other blogs to which I have re-posted, by topic, my posts to the Academe blog, as well as some other items.

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