Tomas Young was paralyzed from the chest down during his deployment to Iraq. Since then, his health has only deteriorated. He has decided to refuse care and end his life, and his wife, Claudia Cuellar, says she respects his wishes.
Credit Frank Morris for NPR
Tomas Young in 2008, before his health took another dive.
After a dozen years at war, an estimated 2 million active-duty service members will have returned home by the end of 2013. Some reintegrate without much struggle, but for others it's not so easy. The psychological wounds of war can sometimes prove to be just as fatal as the physical ones.
For injured veterans such as Tomas Young, life is a daily struggle. But this Iraq War veteran, who says his physical and emotional pain is unbearable, has decided to end his life.
More than a quarter of Missouri's population lives in rural areas. The series "My Life, My Town" documents the lives of teenagers from small Missouri towns. These are the youth who make up thefuture of rural life -- IF they decide to stay.
There are about three or four thousand abused or neglected children in Kansas City’s social services system. While the rate of child abuse has been declining nationally, that number has been growing in Kansas City. And as the problem swells, both Kansas and Missouri continue to privatize more and more of their child welfare services.
On this episode of Central Standard we examine the state of our child welfare system, but through the eyes of the kind of private non-profit charities increasingly being asked to fill the void: the Midwest Foster Care and Adoption Association, and Court Appointed Special Advocates from both Missouri and Kansas.
We’ll get a look at the real impact of child abuse in our communities, why this problem is getting worse, and what the obstacles are to overcoming it.