Reprinted from Smirking Chimp
Iraq Veteran Tomas Young Dies After Calling Out Bush and Cheney.
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George W. Bush has killed again.
On Monday night, Iraq War veteran Tomas Young passed away at his home in Seattle, Washington.
He was just 34.
A native of Kansas City, Missouri, Young joined the Army just days after 9/11 in a flush of patriotism. Like so many others, he wanted to go get the people responsible for the heinous attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
But instead of being sent to fight Al-Qaeda, Young was sent to fight in Iraq, a country that had nothing to do with 9/11, against Saddam Hussein, who was an enemy, not an ally, of Al-Qaeda.
Then, on April 4, 2004, five days into Young's tour of Iraq, everything changed.
As his convoy made a circuit through Baghdad, it came under attack from one of the many insurgents groups that had popped up since the American invasion turned into an occupation. In the firefight that followed, Young was shot in the neck, paralyzing him from the chest down.
He would never walk again.
Many people would give up after such an awful injury, but not Tomas Young. When he got back from Iraq, Young began speaking out against the war and the president who lied us in it.
His activism was moving and inspiring, the kind every American who calls themselves a patriot should aspire to.
Tomas Young was brave and strong, but sometimes even the brave and strong can't take it anymore.
Last February, he told an audience gathered to see the film "Body of War" that he would soon stop taking all life-saving medications. In other words, he announced that he was going to commit suicide.
Young never ended up taking himself off his medication like he said he would, but shortly after he announced his decision to kill himself, he wrote an open letter to George W. Bush and Dick Cheney on the tenth anniversary of the Iraq War.
That letter deserves to be read in full, but this blistering paragraph, written as Tomas Young sat waiting to die, is the crux of it:
"I write this letter, my last letter, to you, Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney... 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."