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Anti-War Activist Ron Kovic Announces White House Bid

From Associated Press

Peace activist Ron Kovic, the disabled Vietnam War veteran depicted in the film “Born on the Fourth of July,” announced Friday that he wil seek the Democratic presidential nomination.

Kovic, 45, filed for the Feb. 18 New Hampshire primary and declared in a statement that he would not join the race as a politician but as a “writer, an artist and a voice of conscience.”

“His will be a campaign to overcome fear and to return America to the American people,” his campaign said in a prepared statement released in Los Angeles. Kovic lives in Redondo Beach.

Kovic’s biography, “Born on the Fourth of July,” was made into a film directed by Oliver Stone. Actor Tom Cruise portrayed Kovic, a wounded Marine disillusioned by combat.

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Paralyzed from the mid-chest down when a bullet shattered his spinal cord in a 1968 battle, Kovic said he lost his blind faith in the government and began to question the war. Eventually, he became a leader of the anti-war movement, joining Vietnam Veterans Against the War.

His anti-war convictions survived the turbulent Vietnam War period. Earlier this year, he appeared at several rallies protesting the war in the Persian Gulf.

He often points to his disability as a symbol of war’s wastefulness. In an August, 1990, plea to President Bush to pull U.S. troops out of the Mideast--where they had been sent after Iraq invaded Kuwait--Kovic said: “My life is a living example of the devastation and loss that can result from a miscalculated, deceptive and secret foreign policy.”


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