Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

U.S. Military Deaths: A Perspective

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, December 20, 2010

I am a U.S. Army veteran.

Unlike some, I served in peacetime. Though while in school, I was mentally preparing for a high school “senior trip” to Da Nang. Shortly after high school graduation, I voluntarily wore our nation’s uniform because I thought it the right thing to do. I felt that by my volunteering, I could “give back” a little for the large quantity that has been given me. My desire to volunteer came from a deeply held belief that, while I – by law – owe nothing for the freedoms I enjoy, it was a transcendent value that I could contribute to those whom shall come behind me, whom also love this land.

No war is ever “fun,” nor is any war ever “civil,” though there are rules for engagement in armed hostilities and conflicts.

In the past several years, we have heard news about deaths of American servicemen and women in Middle Eastern conflicts. Beginning with the “first” Gulf War, on to and through the American invasion of Iraq (aka the “Iraq War“), up to, through, and including armed conflict in Afghanistan, the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT), and efforts to eradicate its primary perpetrators – alQaeda and the Taliban.

Given the costliness of traditional organized war efforts against a nontraditional and often poorly funded, and loosely organized enemy, the people of the United States have grown weary of continuing to be unpleasantly surprised by the resourcefulness of a cadre of psychopathic religious fanatics whom neither adhere to rules of battlefield engagement, nor are shy about losing their own lives for their cause, either through use as human bombs, or the sacrifice of their own children’s lives as bomb couriers.

In any armed conflict, there will be loss of life. There are also those whose loss of limbs, physical senses or of mental ability have forever scarred the American landscape. Yet, welcomed back onto American soil and into the lives and arms of their American families, those wounded warriors are assisted in rehabilitation, emotional and physical. Unlike deaths however, scars are signs of healing. They are visible reminders of tragedy, but more importantly, they are reminders of healing and life.

Yet for all the monetary cost of engaging in and continuing armed conflict, and all associated secondary costs, the loss of life is the costliest. For it is loss of life that genuinely detracts from a nation’s ability to repair itself. An injured carpenter can teach the knowledge and skills associated with carpentry, but a dead one cannot.

Bearing that in mind, I present the following for your perusal.

Yes, I’m proud to be an American, where at least I know I’m free. And I won’t forget the men who died, who gave that right to me. And I proudly stand up, next to you, and defend her still today. There ain’t no doubt, I love this land. God Bless the USA.

Conflict … … … … … … … …US Military Deaths
Revolutionary War … … … … … … 4,435
War of 1812 … … … … … … … … …2,260
Mexican War … … … … … … … … 13,283
Civil War … … … … … … … … … .623,026
Spanish American War … … … … .2,446
World War I … … … … … … … … 116,708
World War II … … … … … … … …407,316
Korean War … … … … … … … … …36,914
Vietnam War … … … … … … … … 58,169
Persian Gulf War … … … … … … … …269
Iraq/Afghanistan War … (estimate)… 5,841

US Military Deaths for all US wars excluding the American Civil War:   …   647,641

Military Deaths during the American Civil War:   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …623,026

Source: US National Park Service

One Response to “U.S. Military Deaths: A Perspective”

  1. Warm Southern Breeze said

    TO THE READER: Having recently noticed that the ability for you to share your thoughts and comments was inadvertently incapacitated (disabled, or turned off?), I have since remedied that issue. I do not (or rather, have not yet) edited, censored or removed comments, either for poor grammar, misspelling, or coarse or obscene language in the expression of an idea germane to the topic or post. (Although, I may linguistically excoriate and shred to pieces your sorry, ignorant ass, and expose the hypocrisy of your remark, or outright make open mock of a fallacy or illogical consequence of a response.) It is my opinion that our Freedoms in this nation – that of Speech perhaps being the foremost – are unparalleled in the history of humanity, and that we the people, as the guardians of our own security, MUST protect those liberties vigorously, not matter the cost. If we do not defend our freedoms – no matter how ugly one may behave, or how vicious an expression there may be, or how vehemently we may disagree, or simply loathe for the sake of loathing – we are in peril of our own future, and by our own hands.

    Further, while it may have been possible to further opine and wax philosophical on the nature of war, the justness or unjustness of the same, or any other issue associated with the same, that topic I shall, for the moment, leave on the table.

    You the reader should understand that my intent in this entry was to illustrate that our nation’s Civil War was – without question – the single most bloody and costly war in our nation’s history. The sheer number of lives lost in that one effort has never been – and hopefully never will be – paralleled in our nation’s history.

    Thank you.


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