Days after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, 22-year-old Tomas Young joined many other young men and decided to enlist in the military to avenge the deaths of nearly 3,000 Americans. Three years later, Young found himself not in Afghanistan (where George W. Bush had told the nation the terrorist plot had originated) but in Iraq instead.
Only five days into his first tour of duty, Young's convoy was attacked by insurgents. A bullet from an AK-47 severed his spine; another struck his knee. Young would never walk again. Over the next nine years, Young suffered a number of medical setbacks which have led to the gradual deterioration of his body. Young's injury led to his becoming one of the most vocal veteran critics of the Iraq War.
On the 10th anniversary of the war, Young has released his most powerful criticism yet-- in what he says will be the last letter of his life. Due to his worsening condition, he has checked into a hospice and plans to stop taking all nourishment and life-extending medications in April. The following is an excerpt from his powerful condemnation of George Bush and Dick Cheney, whose lies led to the deaths of 180,000 people and the loss of over $2 trillion dollars.
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.
Your positions of authority, your millions of dollars of personal wealth, your public relations consultants, your privilege and your 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.
Read Young's entire letter here.