body of war

On Veteran’s Day, we have historically paid tribute to the brave warriors who have dedicated their lives to military service. Today we honor the commitment and sacrifice of our nation’s courageous patriots. 

This year, I hope you will pause to reflect on the story of one such patriot, Tomas Young. Only 22 when he enlisted in the army on September 13, 2001, Tomas just wanted to defend his country from the horrors of 9/11. But instead of going off to fight the Tali.ban and Al Qa.eda as expected, Tomas was shipped off to Iraq in March 2004, 10 months after W declared “mission accomplished.” 

Six days later, while out on his first mission, Tomas was shot in the spine in an unarmored humvee and paralyzed from the chest down. 

The documentary “Body of War” tells the story of Tomas, his return home and his struggle. While in recovery, Tomas began to question the premise for the invasion of Iraq. He got involved with a veteran’s anti-war group and started speaking out. As a critically wounded Iraq war veteran, he became an outspoken anti-war activist. And he is not alone.

Producer Phil Donahue (remember him over 35-ers?) asked musician Eddie Vedder to write a song for the film. In just a week and a half, he penned beautifully haunting lyrics after speaking with Tomas and mothers of soldiers who had died in Iraq. Using their own words, Vedder wrote “No More,” which appears in the film and on the soundtrack.  The song begins:

 I speak for a man who gave for this land
took a bullet in the back for his pay …

I defy anyone to watch this moving and inspiring film and not weep. It airs tonight on the Sundance channel, and of course is available for rental. A short 10 minute documentary — including an interview with Phil Donahue, discussion with Eddie Vedder and Tomas Young and song lyrics — is also available here

To find out why many veterans oppose the Iraq war/invasion or to get involved, read this or support Iraq Veteran’s Against the War (also see the resources for military families), or visit “Body of War” (click “take action”).

Support the troops — let’s bring them home and ensure they get the proper care they deserve. It’s the least we can do for the men and women who have given so much. 

Never let anyone tell you that peace and protest are not patriotic. 

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~ by luna on November 11, 2008.

6 Responses to “body of war”

  1. I’ll definitely check that one out… so many sad stories of patriotism marred by war, injury and death. Thanks for posting this!

  2. Wow Luna, thanks for the 411. Sounds very interesting. We’ll definitely check it out.
    I can’t help but thing a pull out is actually on the horizon.

  3. I saw Phil Donahue on Bill Moyers’ show on PBS talking about this & showing some excerpts. It was incredibly moving. And infuriating.

  4. Thanks for the info! I hadn’t heard about this documentary (and I do love a well-made documentary…). I didn’t read your post until after it had aired on Sundance tonight, but I found it replaying in a few days so I’ve set the TiVo.

    I suspect that it will be easier to see Tomas’s story than to think about my own cousin, who returned after several tours in Iraq as literally a shell of a man. He is in his late 20s, but you’d swear from looking at him that he is well over 40.

    Does anyone ever say “Happy Veterans’ Day?” Is there an official greeting? Certainly there won’t be a happy Veteran’s Day until this war is over.

  5. Sing it, Sista!

  6. […] more thing, how come “conscientious objectors” and veterans of military service aren’t afforded the same respect, rights and protection? Will someone […]

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