On Veterans Day

On Veterans Day, read the compelling essays by Stan Goff, Ron Kovic and Kevin Tillman, all of whom have served in the United States military.

Stan Goff

Stan Goff is a retired veteran of the U.S. Army Special Forces. During an active-duty career that spanned 1970 to 1996, he served with the elite Delta Force and Rangers, and in Vietnam, Guatemala, Grenada, El Salvador, Colombia, Peru, Somalia and Haiti. He is a veteran of the Jungle Operations Training Center in Panama and also taught military science at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

Goff is author of the books “Hideous Dream — A Soldier’s Memoir of the U.S. Invasion of Haiti,” “Full Spectrum Disorder — The Military in the New American Century,” and “Sex & War.”

“Sowing the Seeds of Fascism in America”
Goff sounds a warning call that many of the historical precursors of fascism — white supremacy, militarization of culture, vigilantism, masculine fear of female power, xenophobia and economic destabilization — are ascendant in America today.

“Reflecting on Rumsfeld”
Goff describes how two main tenets of the so-called Rumsfeld Doctrine — the reduction of all things military into “metrics” and an obsession with perception management — have left America inured to the human cost of the Iraq war.

“Playing the Atheism Card Against Pat Tillman’s Family”
In this article, Goff writes on events surrounding the fratricidal death of Army Ranger and former NFL player Pat Tillman, and the possible military coverup that ensued.

Ron Kovic

Ron Kovic served two tours of duty as a U.S. Marine in the Vietnam War and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart. In combat on Jan. 20, 1968, he suffered a spinal cord injury that left him paralyzed from the chest down. He became one of the best-known peace activists among veterans of the war. His autobiography, “Born on the Fourth of July,” was adapted as an Academy Award-winning film, directed by Oliver Stone and starring Tom Cruise as Kovic. Kovic received a Golden Globe for his screenplay adaptation of his autobiography.

“The Forgotten Wounded of Iraq”
Kovic writes a compelling and empathetic piece on his personal experiences and concerns for a new generation of veterans returning from war.

“Breaking the Silence of the Night”
The author of “Born on the Fourth of July” recounts his personal journey from a gung-ho U.S. Marine in Vietnam to an outspoken critic of that war, and how that transformation paved the way for his current activism against America’s campaign in Iraq.

“The Recruiters”
This short story is part of the new anthology “A Fictional History of the United States (With Huge Chunks Missing)” (edited by T. Cooper and Adam Mansbach; reprinted courtesy of Akashic Books).

Kevin Tillman

Kevin Tillman joined the Army with his brother Pat in 2002 and they served together in Iraq and Afghanistan. Pat was killed in Afghanistan on April 22, 2004.

“After Pat’s Birthday”
Kevin Tillman offers a powerful call to the American public.

In this article:

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