A Look into One’s Eyes

I do not think I would have survived in war. The timing of my birth was the thin shave that saved me from Vietnam. I feel fortunate for avoiding that war but I am in awe of survivors of that and other wars, who answered the call for whatever reason. All were affected. Even those of us at home were then, like now, affected by war although most of us, then as now, did not know it.

In January 1968 Ron Kovic, a decorated U.S. Marine who served two tours of duty in Vietnam, was shot and paralyzed from the chest down while leading an attack in the demilitarized zone. After he returned home Kovic who started out a staunch supporter of the war became a vocal opponent to America’s involvement in Vietnam. His memoir , Born on the Fourth of July, was made into a movie of the same name with Tom Cruise in 1989.

In an article for Truthdig, a Progressive Journal of News and Opinion, Kovic writes of a very human element that pierced his hard exterior during his recovery in hospital in Da Nang. He writes how a look into one’s eyes can melt away  the mind’s categories and dogmatic themes of what makes an enemy.