A True Accounting

Source The Global Report

Year after year I keep expecting to see a true accounting of the number of deaths of our troops involved in the prosecution of the Afghan and Iraq wars. The only war deaths counted by the military and reported by the news media are those soldiers who have died 'in country'. If wounded soldiers die on the way to a hospital in Germany, or on the way home, their deaths are not counted! If wounded soldiers die as a result of their wounds 10 days or 10 months after they come home, their deaths are not counted! If soldiers suffering from PTSD take their own lives through suicide or self medication or die as a result of being homeless, their deaths are not counted! I am very confident that the number of American soldier deaths exceeds ten thousand and quite probably more. Nowhere - certainly not main street media and not even on FSTV, LINK, Democracy Now, ETC.–is this issue ever investigated or even discussed. I want to see a FULL accounting! We need to see a number that reflects those soldiers who were alive and well eight years ago and are now dead or suffering due to being involved in these two unjust and illegal wars. These numbers won't come easy. The military and those profiting from these wars will fight to keep this information suppressed. But tell me, how will we ever get the American public to wake up to the horrible reality of war when they only get to see the tip of the iceberg!! Thanks for listening, Rick Hoye Sang Run, MD Having followed Iraq and the news coming out of that country for years now, and blogged about it quite a bit, I think it is quite possible that deaths of "security contractors" who are employed by American companies or military are not recorded. I suspect that is true for Afghanistan also. And the US military certainly does not count the deaths of US troops who have returned to the USA and are out of military hospitals in the totals for fatalities in the Iraq and Afghanistan occupations. There have been numerous military suicides from the veterans of these occupations, some while still serving in the military, some after discharge. They are not counted. In regards to the claim that the Department of Defense does not record all deaths of US military from conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan unless it happens inside Iraq and Afghanistan, that is not correct. Iraq Coalition Casualties (http://icasualties.org/oif/default.aspx) has been recording military fatalities since the invasion of Iraq, and it is looked at by hundreds (or thousands) of people every day. The person behind that website has addressed this issue in the past, and he is quite adamant that all fatalities are recorded. An example of this is the following statement from the Department of Defense website: *DoD Identifies Army Casualty* The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. Staff Sgt. Patrick O. Barlow, 42, of Greensboro, N.C., died on Oct. 18 in San Antonio, Texas, from a non-combat-related medical condition. Barlow was assigned to the 50th Engineer Company, Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. And here is another example: *DoD Identifies Army Casualty* The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. Sgt. Kevin A. Gilbertson, 24, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, died Aug. 31 in Landstuhl, Germany, of wounds sustained when insurgents attacked his unit during combat operations Aug. 29 in Ramadi, Iraq. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 77th Armor Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, Schweinfurt, Germany. As these two examples show, military deaths from combat and from illness are reported and counted by the Department of Defense, even when they happen in Germany or Texas. I found this data on the Iraq Coalition Casualties website. Susan Oehler Asheville, NC