Wednesday, April 9, 2008


Tomas Young was 22 when terrorists attacked the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. Two days later, after watching President Bush speak to the country from the ruins of the Twin Towers, he decided to enlist in the Army.
He expected to go Afghanistan. He went to Iraq instead. On April 4, 2004 - five days after arriving - he was on a mission in an overcrowded, unprotected truck when he was shot by a sniper. His spine was severed and he was left paralyzed from the chest down.

"Body of War"

By Camilla A. Herrera Greenwich Time

Documentary spotlights the human cost of Iraq conflict.

See video here:

"For the Iraqis on the top of the roof, it just looked like ... ducks in a barrel," says Young in "Body of War," a documentary by former talk-show host Phil Donahue and documentary filmmaker Ellen Spiro.
"They didn't have to aim."
"Body of War," which premiered Wednesday in Washington, D.C., and opens at the IFC Center in Manhattan this Wednesday, features Young as he copes with paralysis and treatment, deals with depression and juggles his medication and care. We see his marriage struggle and his brother go to Iraq. This all happens while he develops a growing opposition to the war - set against music by Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam.
During a meeting Tuesday, before Young and Donahue flew to Washington for the premiere, the veteran explains he was recuperating at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., when he began suspecting the reasons given for war. He wondered where the connections between Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein existed and questioned the continued military presence in Iraq after weapons of mass destruction had not been found.
These were questions Donahue says he also had considered while the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 was debated in Congress before the invasion five years ago. He thought of them again after meeting Young at Walter Reed. The vote authorizing war, he says, "is what put Tomas in a wheelchair."
Donahue, who lives in Westport, says he approached Young about filming his story. He told Young his story paints an honest picture of war and others need to see it. Young agreed, and soon Spiro and her cameras were capturing every aspect of Young's life as an injured veteran.
"I saw an opportunity to get the message out," he says. "When people join (the military), they join with the knowledge that they may come home in a body bag. Many don't think they'll come home in a wheelchair. Certainly no man thinks he will come home to find he cannot satisfy his wife or girlfriend.
"They don't hear these stories. No one tells you about the consequences."

Click on link to read the full story.


Tom said...

SEE VIDEO and Help the antiwar efforts of Tomas Young and others, pass it on to others.
Promoting this film helps the antiwar movement. I interviewed Phil Donahue in this Representative Press Video, please help amplify his efforts and my efforts, get this video to others. It is important that good crowds show up at the theaters. The movie is showing in several cities, spread the word. See VIDEO: See Body of War, Hear Body of War * Part 2
I want Phil Donahue's appearance in my video to have been productive so I am really trying to get this video maximum exposure

Bill Corcoran said...

Hi Tom: Thanks for writing. I'll do my best on this blog to promote
the movie. This blog pulls in an average of over 500 "hits" a day so we are reaching many people even though most of them don't make a comment which is perfectly OK with me.

Again, congratulations and thanks for writing.

Bill Corcoran

Hans said...

Hi All,
I just saw the story of Thomas Young last night on Bill Moyers Journal and it inspired me to write this post.

thanks for promoting this as well.

Best wishes and hopefully a speedy recovery from his latest setbacks, as mentioned by Moyers at the end of the show.

Bill Corcoran said...

Hi Hans. Thanks for writing and if I find out anymore I will post it on my blog.

Bill Corcoran, editor of CORKSPHERE

Lynda Graham said...

Mr. Corcoran:

This is a link to a video of Brendan James', A Hero's Song. I met a young man who had just returned from his second tour of duty in Iraq. He brought the war -home to me, quite literally.

I searched for music to support pictures this soldier shared with me and to match his invisible wounds. I hope you find it worth watching. I come from a military family, five generations Navy. I am a pacifist. I ignored the war, listen to no news, read no papers but it came home to me anyway.

I fast forwarded my learning curve and was appalled to discover what this "helping the people" became. I won't be a passive pacifist ever again.

Lynda Graham


Bill Corcoran said...

To Lynda Graham: Thanks ever so much for sending me the link to the beautiful tribute video you made of Brendan James. I have posted it on my blog as you probably know by now.

Please keep in touch.

Bill Corcoran

Anonymous said...

Caught only the last half of "Body of War" on the Sundance Channel. I felt compelled to find Mr. Young online, if only to see how he is doing now and to let him know that his work in bringing to light his situation mirrors that of many others--others who are perhaps too frightened by the system to speak out. Bravo to such a brave young man!

Bill Corcoran said...

Anonymous: Tom is indeed a brave young man. I hope to have an update soon.
Thanks for your comment.