The story of Tomas Young is making headlines again. Back in 2007 he was the subject of Body of War, a documentary produced by Phil Donahue about an Iraq war veteran who comes home paralyzed and speaks out against the war.
Now, that young veteran is in hospice care, dying of his wounds inflicted nearly ten years earlier in Iraq. He volunteered to serve in the military, like so many others, after the attacks in our country on 9/11. Instead, he found himself in Iraq.
Outspoken since Body of War, Tomas now writes an open letter to former President Bush and former Vice President Cheney, on behalf of the veterans “whose trauma and self-revulsion for what they have witnessed, endured and done in Iraq have led to suicide and on behalf of the active-duty soldiers and Marines who commit, on average, a suicide a day.”
This is a viewpoint that should be reported on — one that should always be included in any discussions about going to war. How can any of us, as human beings, have any other reaction than horror to the wars that leave our fellow travelers on earth maimed, broken or dead? How can anybody take advantage of the courageous and heroic nature of mankind to turn the very best in us into what Tomas called “human detritus”?
Is it the morally corrupt politicians’ fault? The media’s? Are you responsible because you didn’t do something more to speak out against it and stand up for what you believe in?
How can it be in this day and age that we still let such atrocities as war happen? Is it because the media concocts news stories that make it inevitable? If our media diet was filled with the awful consequences of war, along with creative, committed, intelligent options for conflict resolution, would we have different outcomes?
I believe we would. What do you believe?