Subsequent to the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, Tomas Young, a Kansas City, MO Iraq veteran, decided he was going to enlist in the military. He was age 22 at the time. He probably had thoughts of revenge like others after the attacks. He wanted to help fight against those who assisted in the deaths of almost 3,000 who died in the air, on the ground, and in office buildings in the United States.
Three years after enlisting in the Army, Young was placed in Iraq. At the time, then-President George W. Bush told the United States the terrorist plot started in Afghanistan. On April 4, 2004, only five days into his first tour, bullets severed Young’s spine and hit his knee when insurgents attacked his convoy in Iraq.
Today, Young does not walk. Nine years after shots from an AK-47, he suffered numerous medical obstacles, including being paralyzed. He is alive because of extensive medical care and the help of his wife. Young prepares to die at age 33 after being a critic of war.
Young plans to refuse nourishment because he is tired of being sick, he told The Kansas City Star. He does not want further life-extending medication or water after saying his goodbyes. He writes a letter to Bush and former Vice President Cheney while being confined to a bed to let the world know about the Iraq War and his distraught in not being sent to Afghanistan.
According to The Kansas City Star, the letter was issued in March 2013 on behalf of “the human detritus your war has left behind, those who will spend their lives in unending pain and grief.” The open letter is posted at www.truthdig.com. As published on TruthDig, Young writes about the feelings a person goes through when another steals trust, lies, and misleads:
“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 Americans—my fellow veterans—whose future you stole.”
Young has been vocal about his Iraq experience. The 2007 “Body of War” showcased his medical recovery needs and the Iraq War. At a February 2013 screening of the documentary, Young announced to the audience he was going to end his life in April 2013.