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Thread: Veteran paralysed by sniper bullet plans to starve himself to death

  1. #1
    Senior Member NW-Will's Avatar
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    Veteran paralysed by sniper bullet plans to starve himself to death



    The Iraq veteran who can no longer go on: Husband, 33, who was paralysed by sniper bullet four days into deployment plans to starve himself to death almost a decade on

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...ck-Cheney.html


    The Iraq veteran who can no longer go on: Husband, 33, who was paralysed by sniper bullet four days into deployment plans to starve himself to death almost a decade on

    Army veteran Tomas Young enrolled in the Army two days after 9/11
    Deployed to Iraq in 2004 and paralyzed by sniper's bullet four days later
    Mr Young plans to refuse nourishment as he is in constant pain
    Veteran has written his last letter to George W. Bush and Dick Cheney shaming them for killing thousands in the war

    By Beth Stebner

    PUBLISHED: 13:08 EST, 21 March 2013 | UPDATED: 03:38 EST, 22 March 2013


    An Iraq war veteran who has lived with extensive injuries since being paralyzed during the conflict has admitted that he no longer has the will to live.

    For nearly a decade, veteran Tomas Young, has been living in chronic pain after being paralyzed by a sniper's bullet four days into his first assignment in the Middle East.

    Now the married 33-year-old, who can no longer eat solid foods, plans to refuse nourishment as he is tired of the exhaustive struggle that his life has become.


    Sick and tired: Tomas Young was paralyzed his fourth day serving in Iraq in 2004; now in hospice care, he is planning to refuse nourishment in a few weeks after a string of health complications
    Patriot act: Young, pictured at his home in 2007, can no longer eat solid foods

    Patriot act: Young, pictured at his home in 2007, can no longer eat solid foods
    Enduring love: Tomas Young with his wife Claudia Cuellar, pictured in happier times. She supports his decision to end his life after suffering years of chronic pain

    Enduring love: Tomas Young with his wife Claudia Cuellar, pictured in happier times. She supports his decision to end his life after suffering years of chronic pain

    Two days after the September 11 attacks, Mr Young, from Kansas City, Oklahoma, joined the Army to serve his country in a time of chaos.

    In 2004, Mr Young was sent to Sadr City, Iraq. Four days after being deployed, he was shot by a sniper.

    He was hit in the collarbone on April 4 while riding in an unarmored Humvee and was instantly paralyzed.

    More...

    'Thank you BOTH for serving': Soldier's wife hunts for stranger who left emotional letter of support on car that reduced her to tears

    The unconscious private was transferred to the Walter Reed Army Medical Center outside of Washington, D.C., by way of Kuwait and Germany.

    Speaking with the Kansas City Star, Young said that his wife, Claudia Cuellar understands and supports his decision to die.

    ‘I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired,’ he explained to the paper, adding that his medications frequently leave him lethargic and nauseated.’

    Mr Young was fitted with a colostomy bag meaning that he can no longer eat solid foods. His wife doesn’t cook anymore so as to help her husband not to think about food.

    Now in hospice care, Young says his mind is clear.
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    Mr Young goes to Washington: Tomas Young pictured the Capitol building in the 2007 documentary 'Body of War'

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    Men of war: In his note, Young blasts former President George W. Bush, pictured on March 13, 2003, and former Vice President Dick Cheney, who once said 'the American people will not support a policy of retreat' amid complaints during the increasingly unpopular war

    ‘You don’t have to struggle through every day just to make it because you’re expected by society to endure until you die naturally or are murdered,’ he told the Star.

    Speaking with Democracy Now, Young said that nothing would change his decision to end his life. He said that if he weren’t in constant pain, he would explore other options.

    ‘We wouldn’t be having this conversation,’ he said.

    He hopes his public struggles, death and legacy will bring more attention to the terrible price of the war.

    Mr Young, who was featured in the powerful 2007 documentary ‘Body of War,’ has published a letter on the 10th anniversary of the Iraq conflict on TruthDig.com.

    '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 whose future you stole.'

    Veteran Tomas Young

    As one of his final, poignant acts, the veteran addressed former president George W. Bush and former Vice President Dick Cheney accusing them of ‘egregious war crimes of plunder and finally of murder'.

    He spoke out against the former leaders for starting a war that he says achieved nothing but killing and maiming a generation of soldiers, all while furthering America's thirst for oil.

    Mr Young writes: ‘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.’

    The veteran continues: ‘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.'

    It isn’t the first time the war-wounded veteran has expressed his opinion on the war. He was featured in Phil Donahue’s 2007 documentary, ‘Body of War,’ and also spoke with ’60 Minutes’ about his ordeal.

    ‘Body of War’ explored Young’s many health issues, which include a brain injury, a pulmonary embolism and a blockage of the lung.
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    Meaningful: In the documentary, Young went to visit ground zero in Manhattan; he joined the Army two days after the September 11 attacks
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    War and peace: Left, the cover of the New York Times the day Bush declared war on Iraq in 2003; and right, the poster for the 2007 documentary 'Body of War,' in which Young is featured

    Much like Ron Kovic, a patriot-turned-anti-war-activist from the Vietnam war, Young began seeing his country in a different light following his time on the frontlines.

    He saw on the news that his friends and fellow American soldiers were still being killed in Iraq, even though there were no so-called weapons of mass destruction in the country, and began a slow shift to becoming a voice against the Iraq War.

    In the closing of his letter, he writes: ‘My day of reckoning is upon me. Yours will come. I hope you will be put on trial.

    'But mostly I hope for your sakes, that you find the moral courage to face what you have done to me and to many, many others who deserved to live.’
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    Ready to die: Young, right, and his wife, Claudia Cuellar, who has been taking care of him as his health continues to deteriorate; she says she supports his decision to die
    Injured Veteran Tomas Young was the subject of 2007 documentary...

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...#ixzz2OOqcDq9H
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    Last edited by SCI-Nurse; 03-23-2013 at 05:48 PM.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Sue Pendleton's Avatar
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    Army Oath of Enlistment

    "I, _____, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God." (Title 10, US Code; Act of 5 May 1960 replacing the wording first adopted in 1789, with amendment effective 5 October 1962).

    Presidential Oath of Office:

    I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.

    Someone broke their oath and it wasn't Tomas Young.
    Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow."

    Disclaimer: Answers, suggestions, and/or comments do not constitute medical advice expressed or implied and are based solely on my experiences as a SCI patient. Please consult your attending physician for medical advise and treatment. In the event of a medical emergency please call 911.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Sue Pendleton View Post
    Army Oath of Enlistment

    "I, _____, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God." (Title 10, US Code; Act of 5 May 1960 replacing the wording first adopted in 1789, with amendment effective 5 October 1962).

    Presidential Oath of Office:

    I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.

    Someone broke their oath and it wasn't Tomas Young.
    Ditto Benghazi.

  4. #4
    I've watched his doc. So sad. Why can't he eat solid foods with a colostomy? I understand the pain. Damn, the sci/pain/health issues has aged him.
    Aerodynamically, the bumble bee shouldn't be able to fly, but the bumble bee doesn't know that, so it goes on flying anyways--Mary Kay Ash

  5. #5

    Paralysis kills

    An incredibly moving story about a very brave man.

    His story reminds me of the urgency that is needed in finding a cure for chronic spinal cord injury.

    Care is not enough. We need cure.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-21952852

  6. #6
    he's a paraplegic, what's his problem, I know so many people that are worse off than him, and they do anything they want, ski, diving, fishing, hunting, race car driving, you name it and I probably know someone doing it, and he wants to end it, just grab a 9 and a bullet and go for it.........sounds to me he's strung out on pain killers and is taking the easy way out......what a shame........I hate to be that way, but giving up is just not in the cards, killing yourself is easy, living is hard, either be miserable or take what you can out of life and live, I'm going to live...........pain or no pain.....I have more respect for the person that struggles to make his life better, than destroy it......and maybe he should of thought of the consequences' before he signed on the dotted line, instead of blaming it on Bush/Cheney, another cop out..........

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by airart1 View Post
    he's a paraplegic, what's his problem, I know so many people that are worse off than him, and they do anything they want, ski, diving, fishing, hunting, race car driving, you name it and I probably know someone doing it, and he wants to end it, just grab a 9 and a bullet and go for it.........sounds to me he's strung out on pain killers and is taking the easy way out......what a shame........I hate to be that way, but giving up is just not in the cards, killing yourself is easy, living is hard, either be miserable or take what you can out of life and live, I'm going to live...........pain or no pain.....I have more respect for the person that struggles to make his life better, than destroy it......and maybe he should of thought of the consequences' before he signed on the dotted line, instead of blaming it on Bush/Cheney, another cop out..........
    He is a T1, brain injury due to anoxia and the anoxia led to him loosing all of his colon/intestines. Add to that probable PTSD.........who the hell are we to judge?
    Did he get care at a VA designated SCI program? Where does he live and what is his access to services? So much unanswered.

    Again, who are we to judge?
    Every day I wake up is a good one

  8. #8
    Yes, when I saw the film (about 3 years ago) it indicated that he went through rehab at St. Louis (Jefferson Barracks) VA SCI Center. He may have some TBI, but was certainly articulate, and minimally impaired by that in the film. At that time he was heavily involved in the anti-war movement, and the film ends with a discussion he had with the late Senator Byrd about the war.

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1068634/

    (KLD)

  9. #9
    Senior Member NW-Will's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cheesecake View Post
    He is a T1, brain injury due to anoxia and the anoxia led to him loosing all of his colon/intestines. Add to that probable PTSD.........who the hell are we to judge?
    Did he get care at a VA designated SCI program? Where does he live and what is his access to services? So much unanswered.

    Again, who are we to judge?
    And how much pain does he have to deal with?

  10. #10
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    I wholeheartedly agree with cheesecake. Certainly i have no standing to judge.

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