I cannot feel anything from my chest down anymore""--for Ron Kovic, born on the 4th of July, that was the beginning and the end. It was the end of the all-American boy from Massapequa, Long Island, who played Little League baseball, worshipped Mickey Mantle and John Wayne and joined the Marines to win medals and be a hero. It was the beginning of a nightmare of filthy VA hospitals, overflowing urine bags, rooms full of men with their limbs or faces blown away. When he got out he went to Mexico ""where the whores were very understanding"" even to a guy whose genitals didn't work. Later still he became involved with the Vietnam Vets against the War, and somehow got into the '72 Republican convention and shouted his protest during Nixon's acceptance speech. He sets it all down, at times in the third person, with time sequences jumbled, with grisly memories intruding on the narrative. He is furious, numb, beseeching. The Vietnam War has by now generated scores of protests. This one is a scream by a man still grappling to make sense of his busted body, his busted life.