VCS Weekly Update: 60,000 U.S. Casualties from Iraq and Afghanistan Wars

May 8, 2007

Dear VCS Supporters: 

This week’s update talks about the human cost of war for America. Television reports and Congressional hearings often report the number of casualties from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars as 20,000. That is wrong.

Here are the facts. The grand total of all U.S. service members ever killed, wounded, injured, and ill during their deployment to the Iraq War and to the Afghanistan War surged past 60,000, according to the latest official Department of Defense statistics.

The grand total of all U.S. veterans ever provided medical treatment by the Department of Veterans Affairs after their service in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars rose sharply to nearly four times that amount – 229,000. Of those, 37 percent were diagnosed with a mental health condition.

However, these numbers are not regularly reported in the press. Furthermore, requests by VCS to VA for updated statistics about Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans are frequently ignored.

Most reporters fail to ask the most simple questions, such as this: what is the total number of all types of casualties for DoD and VA?

The exceptions are the New York Times, Associated Press, Army Times, and Knight Ridder plus some small alternative papers who don’t care about losing their access to White House briefings or book deals.

Thus, when most network TV news stations and your local newspapers refuse to discuss the facts, Veterans for Common Sense provides you with the accurate and staggering human cost of the two wars.

Please send this update to your friends, fellow veterans, and reporters. Post this on blogs everywhere.

Some Americans rush to go shopping to soothe the pain of war. Others walk the mall with their credit cards and remain blissfully ignorant of the war.

In either case, let no one say we veterans did not do our utmost to publicize the true amount of human suffering among our service members and veterans now sent to their third, fourth, and fifth deployment to these wars.

Your support for VCS makes our research and these unique updates possible. Will you please send $50 or $100 so we can keep the pressure on reporters and Congress to discuss the facts about the major issues involving national security, civil liberties, and veterans benefits.

Thank you,

Paul Sullivan
Executive Director
Veterans for Common Sense

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