Submitted by Julio M

After hitting rock bottom while in Mexico, victim of his despair and self-loathe for all that had happened to him, and following an incident in which both him and fellow quadriplegic veteran Charlie (Willem Dafoe) were left stranded in the middle of a road and scuffled over it, Ron (Tom Cruise) decides to put his life back in order and returns to the United States.

He sees Wilson’s (Michael Compotaro) grave in Texas and then visits Wilson’s family in Georgia. There, he recounts the story of what occurred the day Wilson died, tearfully emphasizing that he shot and killed Wilson by accident. While Jamie (Lili Taylor), Wilson’s widow, is unforgiving, the parents are understanding and sympathetic.

In 1972, Ron and a group of the Vietnam Veterans Against the War storm the Republican National Convention in Miami and expose to the press their disgust towards the war and the Government’s blatant lies and neglect of the people; in response, Nixon’s supporters disown them and the group is run off the Convention, with many arrested. However, undeterred, Ron and many others regroup and unsuccessfully charge the grounds again.

The movie ends with Ron delivering a motivational speech in 1976, at the Democratic National Convention and following the publication of his autobiography “Born On The Fourth Of July”; this is juxtaposed with images of his past and the memory of his mother telling him that she had dreamt of him speaking in front of a huge crowd.