Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Dying Iraq War Veteran Writes Letter To Bush And Cheney On War's 10th Anniversary

Days after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, Tomas Young, then a 22-year-old from Kansas City, Mo. decided he was going to enlist in the military in hopes of getting even with the enemies who had helped to carry out the deadly tragedy committed on that day.

Tomas Young never got to serve in Afghanistan but was instead sent to George Bush and Dick Cheney's war of choice in Iraq. Just five days into his first tour, Young's convoy was attacked by insurgents and a bullet from an AK-47 severed his spine. Young never walked again. Over the next nearly nine years Young suffered a number of medical setbacks surviving only with the help of extensive medical procedures and the care of his wife, Claudia.

The incident turned Young into one of the most vocal veteran critics of the Iraq War. He has, however, saved his most powerful criticism for what he claims will be his last. Young says he'll die soon, but not before writing a letter to Bush and former Vice President Cheney on the 10th anniversary of the Iraq War.

Here is an excerpt from Young's letter…
I write this letter, my last letter, to you, Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney. I write not because I think you grasp the terrible human and moral consequences of your lies, manipulation and thirst for wealth and power. I write this letter because, before my own death, I want to make it clear that I, and hundreds of thousands of my fellow veterans, along with millions of my fellow citizens, along with hundreds of millions more in Iraq and the Middle East, know fully who you are and what you have done. You may evade justice but in our eyes you are each guilty of egregious war crimes, of plunder and, finally, of murder, including the murder of thousands of young Americansmy fellow veteranswhose future you stole.
Young goes on to attack the "cowardice" of Bush and Cheney for avoiding military service themselves, and to encourage them to "stand before the American public and the world, and in particular the Iraqi people, and beg for forgiveness."

Young was the subject of the 2007 documentary "Body of War" which was about his recovery process and the Iraq War. At a February screening of the film, Young told the audience that he planned to end his life in April. He announced that he would stop taking all nourishment and life-extending medications at that time. He's since said that the deterioration to his body from the injury and ensuing complications would make it physically impossible for him to commit suicide in any other way.

While seated beside his wife he told the audience "It's time"

Read Young's entire letter here.

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