Dying Iraq war veteran Tomas Young explains decision to end his life

A Message to George W. Bush and Dick Cheney From a Dying Veteran

To: George W. Bush and Dick Cheney
From: Tomas Young

I write this letter on the 10th anniversary of the Iraq War on behalf of my fellow Iraq War veterans. I write this letter on behalf of the 4,488 soldiers and Marines who died in Iraq. I write this letter on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of veterans who have been wounded and on behalf of those whose wounds, physical and psychological, have destroyed their lives. I am one of those gravely wounded. I was paralyzed in an insurgent ambush in 2004 in Sadr City. My life is coming to an end. I am living under hospice care.

I write this letter on behalf of husbands and wives who have lost spouses, on behalf of children who have lost a parent, on behalf of the fathers and mothers who have lost sons and daughters and on behalf of those who care for the many thousands of my fellow veterans who have brain injuries. I write this letter on behalf of those 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. I write this letter on behalf of the some 1 million Iraqi dead and on behalf of the countless Iraqi wounded. I write this letter on behalf of us all—the human detritus your war has left behind, those who will spend their lives in unending pain and grief.

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. [Continue reading…]

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3 thoughts on “Dying Iraq war veteran Tomas Young explains decision to end his life

  1. eugene

    There’s nothing to be said. Decades ago, I came home angry, alienated, isolated and, most of all, not understanding what had happened to me. To this day, my family will have nothing to do with me. My father wished me dead. I managed to survive my drug usage and suicidal impulses. I read this man’s letter and my gut twists in anger at a country that is so focused on war and refuses to face itself.

  2. Diane Russell

    I would like to get a message to Mr. Tomas Young if I may. If you could forward this to him. Mr. Young I want you to know that I do understand your decision, but what I want to ask you if you believe in God and have accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior? There is life after death..this will not be the end for you as for all of us. After this we will meet with God, and if we have not believed on Him and accepted His salvation for our souls, that will not be a good thing. I just want you to know if you don’t already know that Jesus died on the cross for your sins, and if you accept and believe that you can have eternal life. This sickness and suffering that you have experience in this life will not be a part of your life in eternity. The Bible says if you believe in your heart and confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, you will be saved. Please consider if you have not believed. My prayers are with you.

  3. Paul Woodward

    Diane — I do not know Tomas Young and how no way of forwarding your message to him.

    As so often seems to be the case among evangelists, you seem to have a greater interest in imposing your beliefs on others rather than respecting the right of each individual to accept or reject any belief system. In his “Last Letter” addressed to Bush and Cheney, Tomas wrote: “I am not a Christian.” But like most people in this country, I’m sure he is familiar with the idea that Jesus Christ offers a path to salvation.

    Even so, Tomas has made it clear that he is less concerned about what might follow his death than he is that those responsible for the disastrous war in Iraq answer for their actions. Trying to save people from dying in pointless wars surely matters as much if not more than trying to save their souls.

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