Death with dignity

Your positions of authority, your millions of dollars of personal wealth, your public relations consultants, your privilege and your power cannot mask the hollowness of your character.

Tomas Young in an open letter to George W. Bush and Dick Cheney

via Truthdig – The Last Letter.

Fight Comics No. 16, c. 1940's

Fight Comics No. 16, c. 1940’s

Read the letter then read more about Tomas and his decision to discontinue the lifegiving care his has received for 9-years since being shot by a sniper while on active duty in Iraq.

The NPR story turns it into a discussion about the rate of suicide by veterans and the right of a person to make a choice of when to die.

But the real story is personal. This is the life of a person. It’s similar to yesterday’s story. Tomas lived. He fought for his country – in the name of our rights and freedom. He was forgotten by the country he fought for, but he kept fighting to live. He married. His family has loved him and stood beside him. And Tomas finally can’t fight anymore.

Did you know that up to 53 veterans die EVERY DAY while they wait for their promised benefits to finally be approved? That is not tragic, it’s disgusting.

It’s up to us – you and I – to raise our voices for these men and women. This isn’t a fad – “Oh, today we’ll help vets and tomorrow, small dogs!” – because these are real people who did what they were asked, believed in their leaders, believed in us. We owe them.

We owe them our time. We owe them our respect. We owe them our outrage at politicians of the past and that we will hold the present and future to stand-up for their actions.

And, at this time, we owe Tomas the right to die on his terms and with dignity.

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