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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