Massapequa, New York 1969 ~ By the time the family of the post-war American dream, looking more like people than a label, of boomers. It is the day of the Kennedy speech which seems just yesterday. All of a sudden, the mom who of eighteen-year-old son Ron, played by actor Tom Cruise feels like she just told the same five-year old yesterday she had a dream the night before the same day of the Kennedy speech that she saw him speaking before thousands of people. Kovic, a patient at Bronx Veterans Administration Hospital, a hard reality of P.T.S.D. diagnosis after the other reality of that they inform him of a life sentence to a wheelchair. Difficult acceptance only a mesh more strong during an important scene, he just dreams he gets up, and he walks out, and then runs out of the hospital, while a whitened church cathedral of all of the other wounded, a perhaps analogy of the day he lost a sport game on the high school gym room floor. The P.T.S.D. it takes him a while, like most who get it, to figure out something has altered a response for alarm of your own behavior. It is like, you are feeling at the level of the underlay you know something is wrong with you, and you spend hours wondering why it takes you hours to work up enough strength to even be in the same room with, let alone even greet another person, while before you did this without thinking. But life keeps going on, and life does not stop to take care of you. And at times, others around you make it quite plain, that you are in the way of some kind of un-understandable agenda. Ron gets mad at his brother Tommy for organizing burning the flag demonstrations. And after he visits his prior high-school girl at her new Ohio college, his inability to ride in that beautiful balloon due to his wheelchair constraint situation, just like Nam communist baronet beasts, soldiers there still kill the unarmed peaceful. He fantasizes instead of the real day he honored rides through the parade of today shiny white pat and leather hat adorned with a full marine dress uniform. Instead, he woke up not too long ago strapped up upside down to a hospital bed, and demanding to see the doctor he said he complains about being too busy all of the time. Soon, the doctor promises. And his P.T.S.D. mind begins another eternal ongoing episode, one of which the very real psychological disease exhibits, which is normally not to hurt others, but to run from them for personal safety. During the onset of the speech about what he lived through that he wants to encourage others about, he starts to speak and suddenly his mind asks no permission about returning him to the stage set of a real war, to relive his near death, over and over and over again. A thing his mind does takes him time to figure out his mind is doing things it never used to do during the war. At that moment when he finally acknowledged the awareness that he felt no longer normal, the light went off and he knew that even though it takes someone with P.T.S.D. on the average three years longer to write a book than a one year same ratio for a normal person, he knew he had to write. Something to help others understand that even though you are no longer what you once were, that someone else out there also knows that nothing of what evil done to you ever made any sense. And no matter how many hours you spend going over every detail, you find out that the philosophy of your life as a beautifully knit tapestry a lie. It was people who tried to kill you, and so now it is the very faces, hearts and hands of people you most run from, you most fear. Although the voices of many ghosts speak to you regularly, and unfortunately you had neither anymore the ability to stop a scream which came out of your mouth. You do not identify the scream as your own until some time after a slight door close or a child pop gun, or sounds just as a bullet whizzed behind your unprotected back. Something almost spatial, without asking your permission, your lower cerebral takes over and you just enter that other world. The world of the war, some claim your past which no positive affirmation has the ability to cure, has taken over a mind which after awhile, you finally get that it is a happening. Reel-to-reels of almost every scene of every battle you nearly almost did not survive, play back to you as your own soul and mind choose for you at which time.
Every small home town person who born there grows up among a sphere of life not so large. His and her, Kyra Sedgwick as Donna, first kiss at twelve and thirteen has them still holding hands long after the first 4th of July parade down the middle of the main street, at fifteen. Only some feel a destiny as wrenching as a born on the 4th of July tribute. The body partial wounded of a group of World War II. veteran soldiers, pushed by rested upon a royal cadillac each of wheelchairs. The royal guard of the U.S. Marine Army follow them. Fireworks of no passion or even good meaning go color boom. Is it true, she wonders. A man once a boy, Ron Kovic joins the United States Marines. History beckons the young man. His dad got to go to the W.W. II. scene, he figures a war ahead for him, he tells the grown, male teenage peers of a more forgotten pursuit, at the local soda fountain, hamburger hang-out. At the prom, couples, girls donned heavily of pink chiffon and soft, rolled, curled hair along with the guys dance so sweet to you were my first guy and you'll be my only guy. Foreign words such as not heard on common ground at times these days, such a patriot, Ron affirms his parents that he feels confusion. "I love my country dad." A song like Moon River playing in the background at the prom, Ron right after runs to dance with and hold and kiss the girl he loves. Enough romance to pack a heartache later, the next scene whose red rash becomes her lens not, and Cruise as Ron tromps out onto the dust of Vietnam. A group of deer facing the glare of a headlight stronger than life and like most young men of the day who went to defend us, the women and children of a seeming lesser god, although those fighting young boys trained with nothing but the most expert of war time knowledge, no one knew what to expect. The fast moving, 1986 Oliver Stone release of Born on the Fourth of July, which actually came to theaters during the month of December, nominated for a number of other awards, also won Academy Awards for Best Director and Best Film Editing expulses the kind of war time death a fighter watches sadly. Ron challenges his parents and others after his return from the Vietnam war demanding them to justify the belief system they raised him on. Throwing their own scriptures back at them, he repeats phrases like, thou shalt not kill. A society who tells you evil is wrong, but permits evil from those they favor at whim, and justify murder, the mind of Kovic barely begins to register the last sneak attack of the violence of a metal-belted pellet machine of abuse before the new onslaught of a death threat begins again. Hours of the constant must stay awake anxiety of running fight and flight through your veins, enough stress to drive a man and even a good woman crazy, Code Blue does not compare to a K-Mart blue light special any more than a comic M.A.S.H. to the operating table of Kovic after that one spare, although meagre bullet enough to struck a strong man or woman down. The true autobiographical story, an original book first written by the real soldier of the film, Ron Kovik, the last thing he remembered, getting read his last death rights by a priest. Those who say they fought a war, but have never experienced what it is to be an innocent victim, these are often the same who take a black boot heel and try to kick that victim back down into the same hole he or she is trying to crawl out of. No bully wants the victim to talk. Speak though he did. And once the victim speaks, the whole world knows what the evil did to hush the truth. Rated R.