I have never been much of an Oliver Stone fan. Most of his films are too long. They make Kevin Costner movies look like shorts. I also feel he is a bit caustic on the issues he addresses. He appears overly critical on the country. He looks for conspiracies in every nook and cranny. Basically he has struck me as a bit of a curmudgeon. You know Andy Rooney without the big bushy eyebrows.
But I made a recent discovery. Oliver served in Viet Nam. He was part of Bravo Company. He received a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart. This is a difference maker. He went to battle in a time many refused. He fought for the freedom he now exercises. Good for him!
I understand we all have the privilege to disagree, rail against our view of injustice and complain about whatever we pretty much choose. Yet when it comes from someone that has invested something as personal as the potential loss of life, the commentary they offer is much more significant.
I have no idea what Stone’s personal opinion of our military action in Viet Nam might have been. I don’t know if he was drafted, or joined of his own volition. What I do know is he went.
What his motivation might have been has no bearing on the fact he went. Whether he went by choice, obligation or resignation makes no difference, he went. And, from my perspective, his commentary on American society, regardless of my agreement, carries more authority. He has helped shape this world with his actions. He ought to share his version of its present reality.