Iraq war veteran and outspoken Iraq war critic Tomas Young has died at the age of 34.
Democracy Now! reported his death Monday, the eve of Veterans Day.
Young enlisted in the Army following the September 11 attacks, volunteering to go to Afghanistan. He was sent to Iraq, and was left paralyzed by a bullet on the fifth day of his deployment. In 2008, he explained that “many of us volunteered with patriotic feelings in our heart, only to see them subverted and bastardized by the administration and sent into the wrong country.”
Young was the subject of the award-wining documentary Body of War by Phil Donahue and Ellen Spiro.
In 2013 Young wrote “The Last Letter: A Message to George W. Bush and Dick Cheney From a Dying Veteran.” From the letter:
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 Americans—my fellow veterans—whose future you stole.
Asked by Democracy Now! last year how he would want to be remembered, he said: “That I fought as hard as I could to keep young men and women away from military service. I fought as hard as I could to keep another me from coming back to Iraq.”
Watch Young reading his letter to Bush and Cheney below:
Reprinted from Common Dreams.