TREY WALTER, ARTIFACT PAPER 3, ENGL 304, DR. HOAG
In 1976, Vietnam Veteran and Author Ron Kovic, an advocate for world peace wrote his famous book Born on the Fourth of July. Kovic wrote this book in under two months because of his drive and passion for his piece. After being left paralyzed after the Vietnam War he became a strong advocate or world peace and participated in many peaceful protests across the United States with the organization Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW), even being labeled as a communist and a traitor by many nationalists. Fast forward 3 years and Kovic can still be seen as an advocate for ending the war in Iraq. In 2005, he released a statement with his opinions of the second Iraq war, operation Iraqi Freedom. Kovic believed that the conflict was senseless and unjustified because of the 1,500 American servicemen killed and 11,000 wounded; not to mention the tens of thousands of Iraqis killed, many civilians. Although the Bush Administration pushed an agenda advocating the war to fight the war on terror and confiscate Iraq’s nuclear weapons, Kovic believed that those reasons were just hiding another undisclosed reason. He didn’t think that the administration was concerned with fighting a war on terror, rather had their own secret agenda for wanting to invade the Middle East country. The VVAW inspired a similar organization, Iraq War Veterans against War, and now the two groups stand hand in hand to protest the development of future violence. Kovic is still horrified by his experience in the war but is grateful to be alive. Although his life is filled with pain due to his wounds, he feels blessed that he can speak as an advocate for peace and wants to prevent young men from having to endure the same tragedies he did.
To this day both the Vietnam War is considered to be the first foreign conflict our military has lost, and the conflict in Iraq has no clear victor. These was aren’t failures because the Unites States military doesn’t have the physical strength to win, rather because these battles are being fought against a whole populations, an enemy that wears no uniform. The military power that is invading the Middle East and East Asia doesn’t have the hearts and minds of the civilian population that it’s trying to help, and because of this is fighting an uphill battle. When American’s are sent to fight a war that cannot be won it becomes senseless to continue fighting it. These soldiers that spend months, even years in some cases away from the homes, friends, and families it takes a psychological toll. Adding to that is the violence of a military conflict which leaves some veterans disabled due to wounds or mentally scared because of what they’ve experienced
It is very important that our country maintain a powerful military to protect our countries interest both domestic and abroad, but using that strength against an enemy with no face and no uniform makes victory all but unobtainable. Although the military’s strength can devastate any opposition on the battlefield, war itself cannot be won if it’s the civilian population itself that is fueling the resistance. The toll of war isn’t typically felt by civilians at home, but those who are asked to fight for our country endure horrific experiences no man should have to witness. Wars are fueled by the civilians who aren’t tasked with fighting them.