Friday, April 25, 2008

Here is a Name from the Past........

Last night on Real Time with Bill Maher on HBO, one of the guests was Phil Donahue. He looks the same - a full head of white hair, the same glasses. What has he been up to? He has been making a documentary about the effects of the Iraq war.

The film, “Body of War” deals with a young man, Tomas Young who enlisted right after September 11th thinking he'd be sent to Afganistan to hunt down terrorists who caused the tragedies at the World Trade Centre. He was injured just five days after arriving in Iraq and he is now paralyzed from the chest down. From Donahue's description, the movie focuses on Young's medical impairments and as well the medical bureaucracy he encounters. Donohue describes the movie as a “non-nuanced, anti–Iraq War documentary,” about a “heartland kid who suddenly went from a social life of single bars and courtship to a daily routine of catheters, puke pans and erectile dysfunction.”

Young started asking questions soon after his release from the hospital and Donahue's team follows him as he becomes a voice for other vets. I have written before about my observations of the VA Hospital here in Wichita and I'm interested to see how this young man fares in the VA system.

Donahue has financed this film on his own and all profits will be donated profits to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., a charity close to his wife, Marlo Thomas, and her late father, Danny Thomas.

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