Top Leaderboard, Site wide
November 28, 2014
Truthdig: Drilling Beneath the Headlines
Sign up for Truthdig's Email NewsletterLike Truthdig on FacebookFollow Truthdig on TwitterSubscribe to Truthdig's RSS Feed

Get Truthdig's headlines in your inbox!






The Chain


Truthdig Bazaar more items

 
A/V Booth

Photo Essay: Ron Kovic Today

Email this item Email    Print this item Print    Share this item... Share

Posted on Jan 18, 2006
Ron Kovic with his painting
Zuade Kaufman / Truthdig

By Zuade Kaufman

icon: VideoView the Photo Essay

Paralyzed from the chest down by Vietnam War wounds, and confined to a wheelchair for almost 40 years, Ron Kovic stands as a symbol of the brutality of war. He also exemplifies a man’s ability to transform such tragedy into a lifelong pursuit of peace—for himself and his country.


Flash required

Advertisement

Square, Site wide

New and Improved Comments

If you have trouble leaving a comment, review this help page. Still having problems? Let us know. If you find yourself moderated, take a moment to review our comment policy.

By Walter W. Wilson III, January 19, 2006 at 6:39 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Thanks for someone who has a view point of the real truth that come from arrogant aggression.  War is war, no candy wrapper on a piece of sugar coated candy. How long will it take us to realize that true peace cannot be obtained with a weapon made of steel or of flesh.

Report this

By Dana the Bartender, January 19, 2006 at 6:35 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Thank you Ron for your inspirational quest! We all must look and realize that RATIONAL is the most important part of inspirational ! If only the bigwigs behind the war machine were as rational as you! We would all be living in a much safer world.

Report this

By Teresa Molina-Cota, January 19, 2006 at 6:33 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

A very moving and heartbreaking essay. I was deeply moved by your words. God bless you Mr. Kovic.

Report this

By Dorothy Yost, January 19, 2006 at 6:31 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Support our Troops…STOP WAR. Your message is so true. Our country is going in the wrong direction. We need a leader, sadly we don’t have one.  We need to talk not shoot. Keep telling the truth we are listening, more and more of us are listening. God bless you.

Report this

By Cheryl Collins, January 19, 2006 at 6:29 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Thank you so much, Ron, for a powerful and thought inspiring commentary. Your words make me want to speak out on behalf of all veterans. I have a very big mouth!
Thank YOU and God Bless,

Cheryl

Report this

By Robert Tucker, January 19, 2006 at 6:27 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Ron:  Thanks for the words and douse of reality coming from someone who was there and knows.  I’ve told everyone I know of my time in Ft Dix in 68 - 70 watching vets medicvaced in from VN.  I’ve told all my friends of the PTSD that is being fostered and created now in Iraq…once again.

When I “got out” I too became a peace activist.  No Mas!  We can’t go on like this.  But who will speak out?  You also know Ron, that the only way VN was stopped was the peace movement of that time. What will it take now to stop the killing in Iraq?  Another revolution by the people!  We must become ONE voice!  We must speak louder than the administration with words and actions.  We must become ONE voice with our Congressmen and Senators.  If we must go to the streets, then we must become ONE voice in the streets.  Whatever it takes to wake up America from it’s funk and hangover of over-dosing on the lies and distortions.

Wake up America and listen to the Truth!  Demand the Truth! Only the Truth will set us all FREE!
Keep on Tuckin’ Ron!

Report this

By jean ammon, January 19, 2006 at 6:25 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

One of the best posts I’ve ever read. I think you should run for president, I’m sure you would make a great leader. I would also love to see you with your own television show.

Report this

By Bill Dean, January 19, 2006 at 6:24 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Ron:
  I was very moved by your comments. I was in the US Navy during the Vietnam War, and saw little action, however my brother saw one of his buddies get killed. Thank you.

Report this

By Joni, January 19, 2006 at 6:22 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Thank you Mr. Kovac.  Your words went right to my heart.

I am a Naval Reservist and luckily have not been called up for duty.  The Seabee unit from my center served in Afghanistan and Petty Officers McHugh and Jenkins will never come home.  Others were severly injured and will live with their injuries for the rest of their lives.

I am a rarity at my reserve center in that I am very strongly against the President and his whole administration for it’s actions in sending our military into this war.

Report this

By Kathy, January 19, 2006 at 6:08 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Your piece brought tears to my eyes. The wounded really are far too forgotten. There are so many things I cannot understand. It seems that a rich and powerful nation should have passed beyond war as a solution. We need many many more voices like yours…

Report this

By Gracie Brown-Geist, January 19, 2006 at 6:07 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The article was very moving, and it really makes me appreciate how lucky I am not to be overseas.

Report this

By Edelle Vartan, January 19, 2006 at 6:01 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I am of your era, Ron. I will never, ever, forget. Thank you for reaching out, being one of the vocal ones, speaking the truth while many scramble to cover it up time and time again. Your words are so powerful; they cut to the core. Your courage brings so much to us.

Report this

By Elizabeth, January 19, 2006 at 6:01 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I am a paraplegic, though not from war, so I can very much appreciate the sacrifices made by Ron and others in ALL wars, and enjoyed both the story and photo essay. 

However, in regard to the caption of the sixth photo, being in a wheelchair does not make Mr. Kovic an invalid.  I think the things he has accomplished with his life are proof positive of that.

My prayers are with all of those already wounded and killed in war, and those whose time is still to come.

Report this

By Jim Hill, January 19, 2006 at 5:57 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Truly a moving presentation. Well done. Ron is an inspiration to all. Thank you for sharing and,Ron, thank you for continuing your dedication to speaking out against war. We can solve the world’s problems through peaceful means and not through war.

Report this

By Wayne, January 19, 2006 at 5:56 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Ron
101 Airborne, Vienam 69’-70’. Still see them and here them.

Report this

By SGT Jackson, January 19, 2006 at 5:51 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

A young vet I am, not maimed or amputated, but I have witness the horrors of this war. This is a very moving story to me personally. I’ve never herd a story such as this one from a nam vet who trully understands and speaketh the trauma that tis war has on our young soldiers. I wish everyone in this Nation would understand Mr.Ron Kovic’s story the way i do.

Report this

By Mackey Stanley, January 19, 2006 at 5:50 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Mr. Kovic’s writing has once again moved me not only to tears but has served as a call to action. We must work for peace and for better care for our soldiers who have already suffered under the disservice of this meaningless fighting.

Report this

By Charles, January 19, 2006 at 5:48 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

In the Viet Nam war our free press exposed the truths you write about.  Now the press reports the ugliness of the war, when they do report it, as if its only significance is a public relations problem for the president. I am saddened and embarassed that my country has been led by a self centered power hungry man into a useless war twice in my lifetime. How do we let this happen ? It is indeed time for a revolution.

Report this

By Jamee Cafe, January 19, 2006 at 5:37 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Thank you for writing. I am a wife to a husband who was formerly in the Army, a sister to a brother in the Navy and a sister in the Marines.

I unfortunately have seen firsthand how this war has affected my family. I am more grateful that he is retired and safe at home with me.

I pray for those still going through this hell, for my sister’s and brother’s safety, and for a speedy end to what feels like an endless war.

Thank you!

Report this

By Christina, January 19, 2006 at 5:32 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

My son wants to join the Marines when he graduates HS in 3 years. I have tried to explain what might happen but it is his choice, I know that. I admire his courage…I hope the war is over by then. I was truly touched by Ron’s story.

Report this

By liz c, January 19, 2006 at 5:27 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

ron kovic is an important figure for the anti-war movement, and i was thrilled to see this photo essay and to hear from him.  thanks!

Report this

By Paul, January 19, 2006 at 5:26 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I got out of the Army months before Vietnam started, so I was very lucky.
All I can say to you brother is, GOD BLESS YOU DAILY.

Report this

By Linda Boyd-Cornell, January 19, 2006 at 3:57 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Beautiful photo essay.  Wonderful to hear from Ron Kovic again, who is a stirring writer, who carries the emblem of peacemaking in all he is, says, and does.  Thank you Mr. Kovic, and Ms. Kaufman. 

I too would like to see Ron on televised media, however scant chance there may be of such a daring move.

Report this

By Rhonda, January 19, 2006 at 2:10 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Beautiful piece. I was awed by your words and experiences. The US needs more people with your frame of mind in charge.
God bless you

Report this

By matt welch, January 19, 2006 at 2:02 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I am one of the wounded from Iraq and what was said is absolutely true.  Very emotional for me to read.  I had to tell my friends of it, it means so much to me.

Report this

By Naomi Steenson, January 19, 2006 at 10:50 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

In my social services career, I’ve seen unbelievably heartbreaking human conditions, to the point that I can mechanically detach my emotions for self protection. Ron’s article however, brought me to tears with his articulate honesty and thought-provoking ability to evoke feelings without being manipulative.  The depth of his learning from harsh and lonely life lessons has given him a wisdom and clarity that few of us in our comfortable lives can claim. This message should be mandatory for all of those who make grandstanding public decisions that profoundly and permanently affect the lives of other human beings. Thank you Ron for the message you bring!

Report this

By Edith D. Smith, January 19, 2006 at 9:48 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I can only add to Mr. Kovic’s graphic words a little more of another side of war.  My son-in-law did not come back from Viet Nam and my daughter says she would have welcomed him home no matter what he had suffered or lost. 

Those linked with the fallen soldier and left behind alive after the war is over, are not only devastated, but emotionally crippled for life.

In additon to the absolute knowledge that the person you loved is gone forever and all you have is memories, in Viet Nam the survivor had to suffer the abuse of protestors who blamed the fighter, not the instigator of the war.  They got some special vengeance, I guess, from harassing a young wife or parents with their vicious words.   

I would like to see Ron Kovic’s post printed in every newspaper in our country, but then, the abuse heaped upon Max Cleland was printed quite widely and fazed very few as being totally disgraceful. 

Our news media is completely cowardly. 

Edith

Report this

By Judy Boyd-Trinidade, January 19, 2006 at 7:20 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I am a 63 yr old Grandma.
I have 4 boys, none that ever had to go to war.
I am thankful for that, however, I do not believe in war.  I pray each day for the safety of our solders, my prayers do not seem to be answered.
The closest I’ve come to war, is my brother coming home medivac, with his mind scrambled. He was in the Airforce during Vietnam.
He realized he was loading bombs that killed babies and children and lost his mind.
I DO NOT BELIEVE IN WAR, and to have our government start one again and interfere with things that are not our concern is horrible.
He makes up a reason and his cronies go along with him.  What are we doing to the country?
Monies that should be being used for our Vets,  children and elderly, are being used for these purposes in other countries. Take care of our own, then help others. WHAT GOES???
Ron Kovic, thank you for your enlighting story.
Most of us live in our own little world and unfortunatly, many of us do not go beyond our little world, our family, friends, working, etc.
I guess I am one of the ones in my own little world.
J. Boyd-Trinidade

Report this

By Kit Dreyfuss, January 18, 2006 at 10:53 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

That flash gallery presentation of Ron Kovic is outstanding; very inspiring. Good job.

Report this

By Gerald Anderson, January 18, 2006 at 9:48 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I was very moved by what you said. I wish everyone could read what you wrote….

Report this

By Fred Jensen, January 18, 2006 at 4:16 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Excellent article, and very few people recognize, let alone understand a war vet’s daily combat with his wounds. My son came home from the 1st Gulf War, had his retinas peel off his eyeballs, he glows in the dark under a Woods lamp like a Rock & Roll poster, has all the Gulf War Illness symptoms, and the VA sez they can’t find anything wrong with him. Good thing too! If the country ever finds out about the horrors bestowed upon our youth, let alone the huge debt that has been charged to them in the form of taxes to pay the interest owed to China, Saudi Arabia, et al, they will never again let a President go to war to build an empire. Thank you Mr. Kovic.

Report this

By Mark Steen, January 18, 2006 at 3:26 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I was with the Big Red One in Di An, Vietnam in 1966.  I have always admired Ron Kovic and am proud to see that he carries the message of peace in these troubled times.  DIG needs to send someone into the VA Hospitals and find out what is going on there.  The VA in Alaska is doing a good job - what about the rest of the country?  Thank you Ron. I would like to see you on CSPAN.

Report this

By R. Dean Ludden, January 18, 2006 at 1:55 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Excellent writing, and wonderful work you are doing,  Ron!  Thank you so much for speaking out on behalf of non-violence,  which has been my creed ever since college way back in the fifties.  Your courage in continuing the work despite being confined to a wheelchair certainly inspires me to speak out more.  I’ll do it through my poetry and through my letters to the editor…remembering what you are doing every day.  Thank you,  again!

Report this

By MIke Zacchino, January 18, 2006 at 12:38 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Nice images, Zuade.  I appreciate hearing his commentary along with the visuals. 

Thanks for making truthdig possible.

Report this

By Jim Mamer, January 18, 2006 at 12:32 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Thanks for the wonderful presentation. Stuff like this makes one feel less alone.

Report this

Page 2 of 2 pages  <  1 2

 
Monsters of Our Own Creation? Get tickets for this Truthdig discussion of America's role in the Middle East.
Right 1, Site wide - BlogAds Premium
 
Right Skyscraper, Site Wide
Right 2, Site wide - Blogads
 
Join the Liberal Blog Advertising Network
 
 
 

A Progressive Journal of News and Opinion   Publisher, Zuade Kaufman   Editor, Robert Scheer
© 2014 Truthdig, LLC. All rights reserved.

Like Truthdig on Facebook