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Tomas Young


September 11, 2001. America's darkest day. Two days later, inpired by the words of G. W. Bush (a scary concept in its own right!), a 21-year-old boy from K.C., Tomas Young, enlisted in the army, hoping to go to Afghanistan and exact his small piece of revenge. He was sent instead to Iraq, where his military career lasted all of five days before he was paralyzed from the waist down by a sniper's bullet. Wham; bam; sorry, guy; thanks for coming. Young returned home and joined an advocacy group, Iraq Veterans Against the War. He became an outspoken critic of the Bush Administration and of U.S. involvement in Iraq. In 2007, he was the subject of a documentary film called Body of War, directed by Ellen Spiro and Phil Donahue (yes, THAT Phil Donahue), which followed his daily rituals. By 2013, his health had begun to worsen, and he chose to enter hospice care, a decision that he later reversed. In March of that year, while in hospice care, he was the subject of an interview by Truthdig magazine, which also published Young's "Last Letter" to Bush and Cheney, in which he condemned inadequate, often inept care provided by the Veterans Administration and accused B. and C. of war crimes. Tomas Young officially became a casualty of war on November 10, 2014, coming approximately four hours short of seeing Veterans' Day. He was only 32 years old. His death made the front page of the Los Angeles Times and earned me 25 points (20 for the hit, 5 for the solo). We thank you for your service, Private, and we will remember.


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