Iraq war veteran and the main subject of the documentary Body of War. On April 4, 2004, his fifth day in Iraq, Young’s unit came under fire in the Sadr City neighborhood of Baghdad. Young was left paralyzed, never to walk again. Released from medical care three months later, Young returned home to become an active member in Iraq Veterans Against the War.
In an interview on ABC News, Vice President Dick Cheney was also asked about the 4,000 soldiers killed in Iraq. "We are fortunate to have a group of men and women, an all-volunteer force, who voluntarily put on the uniform and go in harm’s way for the rest of us,” Cheney said. In response, Tomas Young, an Iraq war veteran who was paralyzed after being shot in Baghdad said, "Many of us volunteered with patriotic feelings in our heart, only to see them subverted and bastardized by the administration and sent into the wrong country. Yes, we volunteered, but we didn’t volunteer were you sent us to go." [includes rush transcript]
So tell me about what it is like for this film, now that you’ve been followed everywhere around the country in the making of it, to be out. We were in Silver Spring at Winter Solder, the hearings of active-duty and veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan, and soldiers were trickling in from South by Southwest, where you had been in Austin for the opening of the film.
Well, it’s been an amazing honor to travel the country with this music that I’m putting out on this album and the movie that has been an amazing experience to make, and to reach out to soldiers that are speaking out against this war and to try to touch lives on an individual basis has been an incredible experience. But right off the bat, I have to address something that Dick Cheney said yesterday in response to the —
Maybe we have a clip. Maybe we have a clip of what Dick Cheney had to say. Let’s give it a try. I think this is from our headlines today. This is the Vice President, Dick Cheney.
VICE PRESIDENT DICK CHENEY: The President carries the biggest burden, obviously. He’s the one who has to make the decision to commit young Americans, but we are fortunate to have a group of men and women, an all-volunteer force, who voluntarily put on the uniform and go in harm’s way for the rest of us.
That was Dick Cheney. Tomas Young, was that the quote you would like to address?
Absolutely. From one of those soldiers who volunteered to go to Afghanistan after September 11th, which was where the evidence said we needed to go, to the master of the college deferment in Vietnam, the last conflict we didn’t go into voluntarily, many of us volunteered with patriotic feelings in our heart, only to see them subverted and bastardized by the administration and sent into the wrong country. Yes, we volunteered, but we didn’t volunteer where you sent us to go. And I realize that we don’t choose where we get to go, but we at least should be sent in the right places to defend the Constitution, just as we volunteered to do. That’s all.