Tomas Young, veteran who protested Iraq war, dies at 34

Young enlisted in the U.S. Army shortly after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and within five days of arriving for combat in Iraq, he was shot in the chest and paralyzed from the waist down.
By Danielle Haynes  |  Updated Nov. 10, 2014 at 11:31 PM
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PORTLAND, Ore., Nov. 10 (UPI) -- Tomas Young, a paralyzed veteran of the Iraq War who became prominent for protesting the war, has died. He was 34.

Young enlisted in the U.S. Army shortly after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and within five days of arriving for combat in Iraq, he was shot in the chest and paralyzed from the waist down.

Ensuing medical complications left him a quadriplegic. The cause of his death wasn't reported.

Young became one of the most visible anti-war veterans of the Iraq War after appearing in a documentary by Phil Donahue and Ellen Spiro, Body of War.

Donahue told BillMoyers.com that Young as a "bright light" and a "talented young man."

"He was a political animal and he had a political statement that he wanted to make," Donahue said. "Tomas wanted people to know that this is the drama being played out in houses across the country occupied by thousands of young men and women who fought in the war."

Last year, Young told Democracy Now! he intended to end his life by refusing to take his medicine and nourishment through a feeding tube. He later changed his mind.

"I want to spend as much time as possible with my wife, and no decent son wants his obituary to read that he was survived by his mother," he said at the time.

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