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March 20, 2015 @ 4:00 pm


Ep. 212 “Body of War” (hosted by Dr.  Vivian Dames with production assistance of Alan Grossman) was recorded 1/28/15 at the Agana Shopping Center and airs 2/6/15.  

This episode provides coverage of the January 28, 2015 film screening and discussion event presented by the Guam Humanities  Council (GHC) in partnership with the local non-profit  organization, the Iraq-Afghanistan-Persian Gulf Veterans of the Pacific (IAPGVP).  This event is part of the GHC continuing exhibit entitled “Sindålu: Chamorro Journeys in the U.S. Military that explores the many significant and often unrecognized journeys of Chamorro men and women who currently or have served in the U.S. military.  

In the first half, we present excerpts from the award winning film documentary “Body of War: The True Story of an Anti-War Hero” (1 hour, 28 minutes) that examines the face of war through 25 year old Tomas Young who was paralyzed from a bullet to his spine after serving in Iraq for less than a week.  He later became active with Iraq Veterans Against War, delivering powerful speeches to an anti-war community eager to hear from veterans. Directed by Phil Donohue and Ellen Spiro the film parallels congressional speeches and a tally of of pro-war votes in the U.S. Senate with intimate footage of Tomas as he navigates the physical and emotional impacts of his injury.  Young passed away in November 2014. The excerpts presented here focus on Tomas’ narrative and that of his mother, Cathy Young, who also became politically active through her participation in Gold Star Mothers for Peace.  

This film screening is followed by brief comments from three panelists, all local veterans: Dr. Tricia Lizama, an assistant professor of social work at the University of Guam who served six years in the U.S. Air Force Reserves then worked from 2009-2011 for the Department of Veterans Affairs as a team leader/social worker; Rodney Cruz, a combat disabled veteran who served three tours of duty in Operation Iraqi Freedom, the Global War on Terrorism, and Operation Enduring Freedom and is also founder of  IAPGVP; and Alwin Rafael, an advocate who works for the Guam Vet Center and conducts outreach to veterans in the region. This event concluded with an open discussion facilitated by Monaeka Flores, GHC Coordinator of Marketing and Programs, excerpts of which are included here.  

For more information about other GHC programs and exhibits, go to  For previous Beyond the Fence episodes related to this GHC exhibit, download Ep. 194 (7/8/14) “Sindålu:  Chamorro Journeys in the U.S . Military” and Ep. 205 (10/25/14) “Honoring Filipino Veterans”. 

This episode includes original songs by Eddie Vedder from the film ‘Body of War” . 

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