Ron Kovic, a fellow ex-grunt and Purple Heart
recipient, to tell the disabled Vietnam veteran's story.
The vow came nine years before Stone's 1987 Platoon,
the wildly successful story of his Vietnam War. Born on
the Fourth of July (1989) stars Tom Cruise, who plays a Vietnam
vet in a wheelchair who bitterly protests the war in
which he fought. Kovic and Stone collaborated on the
script, and in 1978 co-wrote the first draft, which was
based on a book written by Kovic. Kovic's memories of
their 1978 dream are painful: "Oliver had said to me. If
I ever get the opportunity to direct, if I ever break
through, I'll come back for you.' And he never forgot
that promise ...."
Ron Kovic has been in a wheelchair, paralyzed from
the waist down, ever since his spine was shattered by
North Vietnamese bullets in a fire fight not far from the
DMZ, near the Cua Viet river. Toward the end of the
war, he was frequently seen on TV angrily denouncing
the Vietnam War as a "crime" and the U.S. government's treatment of its disabled Vietnam veterans. "I would tell them . . . that we must never let what
happened in Vietnam happen again."
If you would like to attend the 5:30 reception and 6:00
dinner, please return the attached coupon. The lecture
begins at 7:00.