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Ron Kovic

In: Historical Events

Submitted By leee12
Words 1010
Pages 5
Born on the 4th of July
In recent years the Wounded Warrior Project has brought to the forefront of American society the issue of paralyzed and spinal injuries in military veterans. There are currently over 100,000 veterans with these types of catastrophic injuries in America. Ron Kovic was a Marine Corp Sergeant who served two tours in the Vietnam War to return home paralyzed. His memoirs chronicle his experience both overseas and back home and show his transformation from a “Yankee Doodle Dandy” to a major antiwar activist. The Vietnam War substantially changed the culture of America. The 1950’s post World War II culture as described by Kovic was very stereotypically “Leave it to Beaver” he had a two parent home, mom stayed home dad worked. They were a good Catholic family and Ron just wanted to do well in baseball and make his parents proud. Ron grew up in a very patriotic environment. His childhood memories include fireworks on his birthday, playing war games with his friends, watching War movies starring John Wayne and Audie Murphy and feeling pride reciting the pledge of allegiance (Kovic 83). His childhood friends and fellow soldiers grew up with similar experiences and this romanticized version of War and war heroes was typical of the decades leading up to the Vietnam conflict. Cold War tensions categoristic of the time were evident in cultural references during the 1960’s with shows on TV about double crossing communist agents and fascination with the Space Race dominating Ron’s life. With just enough patriotism and a mix of fear of nuclear destruction young men around Kovic’s age were ready to go to war in service of the country. After President John F. Kennedy was assassinated and the country was in mourning Kovic went down to his recruitment center and signed up for the Marines. He wanted to be a hero and cried when the star spangled banner...

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