Ron Kovic
Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Ron Kovic

Born on the Fourth of July

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About Him

Grew Up... playing war games with his friends in the late fifties and early sixties. It was a time in America where they’d tell you to either “love it or leave it.” Patriotism was high, valor was a virtue, and the “glory” of the Second World War was still in the air.

Living… in a wheelchair. Ron was told he would never walk again after gunshot wounds he sustained in battle during the Vietnam War. Ron marched off to war believing it would be honorable and righteous, but his experience was something altogether different. The horror, violence, and bloodshed quickly changed his mind about battle, but even after his injuries he still has a positive outlook on the United States military, as well as his prospects for walking again.

Profession… soldier. He was a star athlete in high school, so trudging through Vietnam would be no tall order for a physical youth like Ron—or so he thought. Being a soldier proved harder than he expected.

Interests… serving his country, figuring out how to live life after war. It’s hard to adjust back to civilian life, especially after being wounded as badly as Ron was.

Relationship Status… single. It’s very difficult to find a girlfriend when his physical disabilities confine him to a wheelchair and make him unable to perform sexually.

Challenge reconciling his pro-America morality with the horrible things he and his fellow soldiers did in Vietnam. He becomes extremely emotional, remembering how they show women and children, proclaiming, “Thou shalt not kill, mom. Thou shalt not kill women and children.”

Personality… disillusioned and lost. Ron is still finding his way in this life, and for every fast ball that the world throws him, Ron becomes harder and more accustomed to the horrible things that happen in this world.  He becomes a man who has lost all of his original beliefs, which allows for new understanding and new values to be forged.

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