Two days after September 11th, a young man named Tomas Young enlisted in the U.S. Army. During a Humvee ride through Iraq's Sadr City, he was shot through the spinal cord & paralyzed.

When he returned to the U.S., he became one of the most powerful voices of the anti-war movement.

He died on Monday, November 10th at the age of 34.

In his honor, I'd like to bring this to your attention. On the 10th anniversary of the Iraq war, Tomas wrote "The Last Letter: A Message to George W. Bush and Dick Cheney From a Dying Veteran." Here are some excerpts:

“Your positions of authority, your millions of dollars of personal wealth, your public relations consultants, [and your privilege and power] cannot mask the hollowness of your character. You sent us to fight and die in Iraq after you, Mr. Cheney, dodged the draft in Vietnam, and you, Mr. Bush, went AWOL from your National Guard unit. Your cowardice and selfishness were established decades ago. You were not willing to risk yourselves for our nation but you sent hundreds of thousands of young men and women to be sacrificed in a senseless war with no more thought than it takes to put out the garbage."

"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."

When asked by Democracy Now! how he'd want to be remembered, he said: "That I fought as hard as I could to keep young men and women away from military service. I fought as hard as I could to keep another me from coming back to Iraq."

To Tomas - Thank you for being angry. Thank you for speaking out. Thank you for espousing peace. Thank you for pushing justice. Thank you for loving America. 

The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of Ora Media, LLC its affiliates, or its employees.

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