As the nation marks Veterans Day, we remember the Iraq War veteran Tomas Young, who died this week at the age of 34. He enlisted in the military just after the Sept. 11 attacks. On April 4, 2004 — his fifth day in Iraq — Young’s unit came under fire in the Baghdad neighborhood of Sadr City. Young was shot and left paralyzed, never to walk again. Young returned home and became an active member of Iraq Veterans Against the War. He remained in and out of the hospital for the rest of his life. Young was later featured in the documentary "Body of War" directed by Ellen Spiro and the legendary television broadcaster Phil Donahue. We broadcast excerpts of the film and past Democracy Now! interviews with Young. Donahue joins us in studio to discuss the impact Young made in the antiwar and veteran communities and the making the film, which was nominated for an Academy Award.
Phil Donahue is one of the best-known talk show hosts in U.S. television history. The Phil Donahue Show was on the air for almost 30 years, until 1996. In 2002, Donahue returned to the airwaves, but was fired by MSNBC on the eve of the 2003 U.S.-led war in Iraq because he was allowing antiwar voices on the air. We talk to Donahue about his firing and the silencing of antiwar voices by the corporate media — that continues to this day.
On Veterans Day, we broadcast the voice of a veteran recorded with StoryCorps, the award-winning national social history project. Two years ago, StoryCorps launched the Military Voices Initiative recording the stories of post-9/11 military veterans and their families. And this Veterans Day, StoryCorps is releasing a series of animations and a radio special based on these interviews. We broadcast one of those stories stories told by Spc. Justin Cliburn, who deployed to Iraq with the Oklahoma Army National Guard in 2005. While serving in Baghdad, Cliburn formed an unlikely friendship with two Iraqi boys who lived nearby. Cliburn speaks with his wife, Deanne, about the lasting impression the boys left on his life.
Full episodes of Democracy Now! can be viewed at the link: https://www.freespeech.org/collection/democracy-now.
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