VCS Releases Updated War Statistics

VCS Releases “Iraq and Afghanistan War Impact Report,” VA Confirms Nearly 712,000 Iraq and Afghanistan War Veteran Patients

October 1, 2011 (VCS Exclusive) – In an effort to document the severe and escalating human and financial consequences of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, Veterans for Common Sense (VCS) summarizes several government reports about U.S. military service members and veterans who deployed to the Iraq – Afghanistan war zone since September 11, 2011.

When sharing our VCS quarterly report, please cite how VCS uses reports from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Department of Defense (DoD) obtained by VCS under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).  The report serves as a reminder our nation remains at war.

Military Deployments to War Zone Since September 11, 2001 (1)

• 2,226,056 Total Service Members Deployed

o 941,743 Deployed Twice or More (42{cd9ac3671b356cd86fdb96f1eda7eb3bb1367f54cff58cc36abbd73c33c82e1d})


Military Casualties in War Zone Since September 11, 2001 (2)

• 108,974 Total War Zone Casualties

o 6,211 Deaths (6{cd9ac3671b356cd86fdb96f1eda7eb3bb1367f54cff58cc36abbd73c33c82e1d}), Includes 298 War Zone Suicides

o 45,889 Non-Fatal Wounded in Action (42{cd9ac3671b356cd86fdb96f1eda7eb3bb1367f54cff58cc36abbd73c33c82e1d})

o 56,874 Non-Fatal Medical Evacuations Due to Injury or Disease (52{cd9ac3671b356cd86fdb96f1eda7eb3bb1367f54cff58cc36abbd73c33c82e1d})


Veteran Post-Deployment Healthcare Use (3, 4)

• 1,442,987 Veterans Eligible for VA Healthcare

o 711,986 Veteran Patients Treated (49{cd9ac3671b356cd86fdb96f1eda7eb3bb1367f54cff58cc36abbd73c33c82e1d} of Veterans Eligible)

o 367,749 Veterans with Mental Health Condition (52{cd9ac3671b356cd86fdb96f1eda7eb3bb1367f54cff58cc36abbd73c33c82e1d} of Patients)

o 211,819 Veterans with Potential PTSD (30{cd9ac3671b356cd86fdb96f1eda7eb3bb1367f54cff58cc36abbd73c33c82e1d} of Patients)

o ~9,700 Average New Veteran Patients Each Month


Veteran Post-Deployment Disability Claim Activity (5)

• 1,442,987 Veterans Eligible for VA Disability Benefits

o 624,266 Veterans Filed Disability Claims (43{cd9ac3671b356cd86fdb96f1eda7eb3bb1367f54cff58cc36abbd73c33c82e1d} of Veterans Eligible)

o 133,595 Veterans Awaiting VA Decision (21{cd9ac3671b356cd86fdb96f1eda7eb3bb1367f54cff58cc36abbd73c33c82e1d} of Claims)

o 107,718 Veterans with Approved PTSD Claim (17{cd9ac3671b356cd86fdb96f1eda7eb3bb1367f54cff58cc36abbd73c33c82e1d} of Claims)

o ~9,500 Average New Claims Filed by Veterans Each Month


Estimated Long-Term Impact on VA

•  ~1,032,000 Total New Veteran Patients, Dec. 31, 2013 (6)

• ~ 938,000 Total New Veteran Claims, Dec. 31, 2013 (7)

•  up to $900 Billion VA Healthcare and Benefit Spending Over 40 Years (8)


Service Member and Veteran Suicide

• 462,854 Total Calls to VA’s Veterans Crisis Line (9)

o 259,891 Calls from Veterans from Any Period of Service

o 6,030 Calls from Active Duty Service Members

o 195,933 Calls from Others / Family

• 16,855 “Rescues” of Suicidal Veterans and Service Members

• 2,293 Active Duty Suicides Since January 2001 (10)

o 298 Suicides While Deployed in War Zone

o 1,995 Other Suicides (Deployment Status Unknown)

• Unknown Suicides Among Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans


Veterans’ Claims Pending at VA for All Periods of Service (11)

• 1,097,489 Sep. 2011, Pending Veterans’ Claims and Appeals

• 568,711 Mar. 2003, Pending Veterans’ Claims and Appeals

• 528,778 Pending Claim Increase, Mar. 2003 to Sep. 2011

  Sources   (1) DoD, “Contingency Tracking System,” Number of Deployments for Those Ever Deployed for Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, as of Dec. 31, 2010.   (2) DoD, “Global War on Terrorism – Operation Enduring Freedom, By Casualty Within Service, Oct. 7, 2001, Through Sep 6, 2011” (Afghanistan War), DoD, “Global War on Terrorism – Operation Iraqi Freedom, By Casualty Category Within Service, Mar. 19, 2003, Through Sep 6, 2011” (Iraq War, Mar. 2003 through Aug. 2010), DoD, “Global War on Terrorism – Operation New Dawn, By Casualty Within Service, Sep. 1, 2010 Through Sep 6, 2011” (Continuation of Iraq War since Sep. 2010).   (3) VA, “VA Facility Specific OIF/OEF Veterans Coded with Potential PTSD Through 3rd Qtr FY 2011,” Sep. 2011.   (4) VA, “Analysis of VA Health Care Utilization Among US Global War on Terrorism Veterans, 3rd Qtr, Fiscal Year 2011,” Sep. 2011.   (5) VA, “VA Benefits Activity: Veterans Deployed to the Global War on Terror,” Through May 2011, Jul. 2011.   (6) VCS estimate based on current rate of 9,700 new veteran patients per month.   (7) VCS estimate based on current rate of 9,500 new veteran claimants per month.   (8) Joseph Stiglitz and Linda Bilmes, House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, “True Cost of War” Sep. 30, 2010.   (9) VA “VA National Suicide Prevention Hotline Call Report 2011 Totals YTD” Jul. 31, 2011.   (10) DoD, “U.S. Active Duty Military Deaths” Jul. 29, 2011.   (11) VA “Monday Morning Workload Reports,” Mar. 22, 2004 and Sep. 26, 2011.

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