10 Years Later: A Vet Writes His Last Letter

Tomas Young did what many young Americans did after September 11, 2001: he enlisted in the Army. He was severely injured in 2004, not in Afghanistan where he thought he’d fight terrorists, but in Iraq.

Young is dying. He expects to take his final breath next month. His final letter is addressed to George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.

Young pulls no punches. Nor should he.

I did not join the Army to go to Iraq, a country that had no part in the September 2001 attacks and did not pose a threat to its neighbors, much less to the United States. I did not join the Army to “liberate” Iraqis or to shut down mythical weapons-of-mass-destruction facilities or to implant what you cynically called “democracy” in Baghdad and the Middle East. I did not join the Army to rebuild Iraq, which at the time you told us could be paid for by Iraq’s oil revenues.

The rest of Young’s letter is equally powerful. It’s too bad the addressees will never read it. Or be tried for their war crimes.


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