Ron Kovic was a gung-ho US Marine who would be wounded in battle in 1968. His wounds led to him being paralyzed from the chest down. His struggle to survive would not end on the blood-soaked battlefields in Southeast Asia. Kovic would endure suffering and indifference in various VA hospitals on both coasts of the US. Kovic and fellow soldiers would fight back with a patient/workers’ rights committee. They would fight the system from within but would face retribution from medical workers and higher-ups. In 1974, Kovic would find conditions in the Long Beach VA still lacking and would stage a sit-in that developed into a hunger strike in Senator Alan Cranston’s office. Kovic and his friends looked to meet with the Senator and/or the head of the Veteran’s Administration. Here would be the true test of will for Kovic and his fellow Vets. Could they get their message out? Would anyone care to listen?
Hurricane Street is a powerful sequel to Born on the 4th of July. It is a harrowing, poignant telling of the American Veteran’s Movement and its members’ struggles against the government as well as themselves. The book is a must read in war and peace time. War is hell; peace can be just as brutal.