Showing posts with label casualties. Show all posts
Showing posts with label casualties. Show all posts

Friday, November 6, 2009

Fort Hood soldiers stories begin to come out

Report: Fort Hood victims include PA soldier

The Associated Press

PITTSBURGH - A western Pennsylvania soldier is reportedly among those wounded in the shooting rampage at Fort Hood.

Sabrina Heath, of Monessen, told KDKA-TV on Friday that her niece Army 2nd Lt. Brandy Mason was shot in the thigh.

Heath said Mason made a brief call Thursday. Mason said she was at the a Soldier Readiness Center waiting her turn when the suspect came in and opened fire.

Heath says Mason spent 14 months in Iraq and was never shot at.
go here for more
Fort Hood victims include PA soldier

Soldier was willing to give 'anything it took' for her country
By Tom Held of the Journal Sentinel

Posted: Nov. 6, 2009 2:32 p.m.

Kiel - Staff Sgt. Amy Krueger decided she was willing to put her life at risk for her country the instant a second airplane crashed into the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.

"We looked at each other and knew, and the next day we were in the recruiter's office," recalled Kristin Thayer, who watched the attack with Krueger in a commons area at a college in Sheboygan. "Anything it took, anything our country needed of us, even if that meant giving our lives."

Krueger made the ultimate sacrifice that pledge carried. She died Thursday when an Army psychiatrist opened fire on soldiers proceeding through deployment preparations at Fort Hood, in Killeen, Texas.

On Friday, Thayer grieved the loss of her best friend, a classmate and teammate who joined her at that recruiting station determined to serve her country. Both joined the Army Reserves.

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Ogden soldier injured in Fort Hood shooting
By Joseph M. Dougherty

Deseret News

Published: Friday, Nov. 6, 2009 5:09 p.m. MST

WASHINGTON TERRACE — These emotions weren't supposed to come yet.

The worry, the heartache, the fear: They were expected later, once Aggie Foster's son deployed to Afghanistan, not on Thursday while he still was awaiting his deployment at a Texas Army base.

Aggie Foster was at work at Ogden Regional Medical Center when her daughter-in-law called to tell her that a gunman had walked into Fort Hood's Soldier Family Readiness Center and shot her youngest son, Joey, an Army private first class, in the hip.
read more here
Ogden soldier injured in Fort Hood shooting

Local Soldier Injured in Fort Hood Attack
A Dothan man serving in the Alabama National Guard was wounded yesterday when a fellow soldier allegedly opened fire on Fort Hood, Texas.
A Dothan man serving in the Alabama National Guard was wounded yesterday when a fellow soldier allegedly opened fire on Fort Hood, Texas.

13 people were killed and the Wiregrass man was among the more than 30 injured.

Major Randy Royer of the 135th expeditionary sustainment command based in Birmingham was shot twice during Thursday’s shooting spree.
read more of this here

Fort Hood victims include St. Paul soldier


By AMY FORLITI / Associated Press

A Minnesota soldier and father of three who had a knack for making people laugh was among those killed when an Army psychiatrist allegedly opened fire on fellow soldiers at Fort Hood, Texas.

Kham Xiong of St. Paul, died in the attack Thursday that left 13 people dead and more than two dozen wounded. The alleged gunman, Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, was among the injured.

KSTP-TV reported that Xiong was 23, and had three children ages 4, 2 and 10 months. He and his wife had moved to Texas just five months ago, the station said.
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Oklahoma high school graduate one of the soldiers killed at Fort Hood
By BRYAN DEAN Staff Writer
Published: November 6, 2009

A Tipton soldier killed Thursday during a shooting rampage at Fort Hood, Texas, was a quiet boy who thought the military would help him grow into a man, his family said Friday.

Spc. Jason Dean Hunt, 22, was one of 12 soldiers killed when a gunman opened fire at a soldier readiness center on the post. The gunman, identified by authorities as Maj. Nadil Malik Hasan, 39, was shot several times by a civilian police officer but survived the attack.

Hunt was a 2005 graduate of Tipton High School. Tipton is near Altus in southwest Oklahoma.
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Oklahoma high school graduate one of the soldiers killed at Fort Hood


Fort Hood victims: Sons, a daughter, mother-to-be
November 7, 2009 12:52 p.m. EST
Kham Xiong, 23, remembered as "a very fun, outgoing person"
"What hurts the most is that one of her own killed her," Francheska Velez's father says
Sister recalls Spc. Jason Dean Hunt's words: "He said he would die for a stranger"
Sheryll Pearson, mother of slain soldier Pfc. Michael Pearson says: "We're all very angry"

A CNN Special Investigation drills down on the causes and the impact of the Fort Hood shootings, at 8 p.m. ET Saturday on CNN TV.

Fort Hood, Texas (CNN) -- Thirteen people died after a shooting spree Thursday at Fort Hood, a sprawling Army post in Texas.

Here's a look at the victims whose names have been released:

go here for more

Friday, June 20, 2008

Roadside bomb in Tikrit kills one US and wounds 5

RELEASE No. 20080620-07
June 20, 2008

Coalition Force Soldiers attacked in Diyala
Multi-National Division – North

TIKRIT, Iraq – One Soldier was killed and five wounded in three roadside bomb attacks on Coalition force patrols in Diyala province June 20.

All casualties were evacuated to a Coalition hospital.

The name of the deceased is being withheld pending next of kin notification and release by the Department of Defense.

linked from

also US and Coalition deaths reach 100 in Afghanistan for this year

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

BlackBerry buzzes with DOD casualies

It’s time for a new metaphor for war
Tuesday, June 3, 2008 12:38 PM CDT
Connie Schultz

Those who support the war in Iraq — and their numbers continue to dwindle — sometimes use a worn-out metaphor to justify the cost of war.

“You have to break a few eggs to make an omelet,” they tell me. By “eggs,” of course, they mean the men and women in the U.S. military who have died in Iraq.

The first time I heard this trope was in the weeks leading up to the U.S. invasion, which I opposed. I’ve heard it many times since, but it never loses its sting, this suggestion that some human lives are expendable ingredients in a recipe for disaster. Every time, I try to imagine how it would feel if someone I love were dismissed as easily discarded. And every time, I quickly try to move on.

The more distance we wedge between ourselves and the war the easier it is to pretend it’s someone else’s sacrifice to bear. I am as guilty as the next. For all my hand-wringing over this war, I am not forced to worry for even a moment that a member of my family could die there. That makes every minute of my every day far different from those who do.

In late April, I wrote a column about a soldier’s funeral in Cincinnati. In response, a reader suggested that I visit the Web site of the Department of Defense and sign up for e-mail alerts that would let me know whenever another American has died in this war. It struck me as a way to force myself to think about what I want to forget most of the time. What I had not anticipated is how it would feel to be on the receiving end of this news over and over.

Most of the time, I carry a BlackBerry with me. Any e-mail sent to me at The Plain Dealer or to my personal account automatically forwards to this hand-held bad habit, which vibrates with each new message. On May 1, I was wrapping up a happy evening at a local library event when my BlackBerry buzzed. Heading for my car, I pulled it out and read the subject line of the latest e-mail: “DOD Identifies Marine Casualty.”
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So many in this country have no idea what the death count is, and that includes people paying attention. None of us really know how many have lost their lives in service to this nation deployed into Iraq or Afghanistan. Sure, we can track what the DOD reports. We can add in the news reports from bases scattered over the globe and from hometown news releases, but still we really don't know.

When Vietnam veterans came back to their cities and towns after their "duty" was over, they blended back into the civilized world of "peace" and American life. They did what generations before them have done since the beginning of time. They returned home. Back to family, friends, responsibilities, back to where the future was ahead of them and the past was supposed to be left behind in the jungles of Vietnam, but that didn't quite turn out the way they were told it would.

We see their faces at monuments during Memorial Day and Veterans Day revealing a part of them remained in Vietnam. It was their innocence. The idea they were raised with that people live with a sense of life enough that they know they can walk out their front door without fearing being killed or faced with having to kill another human, instilled by the commandment "thou shall not kill" at the base of their conscience. They lived out their days worrying about what the rest of us worry about, bills to pay, jobs to keep, relationships to build or end, neighbors they like and the ones they just can't get along with, family members they loved to spend time with and the ones who drove them nuts. Everyday "normal" problems when a car won't start and needs to be repaired when the bank account is tapped out or the plumber has to be called for something they tired to fix on their own. Physical problems like broken bones, cuts, the flu and operations. Family member's weddings and funerals, birthday parties for their kids, cookouts, graduations. This is what "normal" life was supposed to be like.

They were sent to Vietnam. For the majority it was one year out of their life. The idea, if they survived in one piece, they could just pick up where they left off, drove them from one day to the next counting down the time left they needed to survive. They spent the days with tedious duties, chores and monotony suddenly exploding them back into the reality of war. Trying to kill the enemy one second and saving the life of a buddy the next. Watchful for those who are trying to kill them and watchful for the backs of their friends wondering if it would be their day to die. Yet the days fade, one more gone, this many left to live, this many friends gone, this many friends wounded, this many new ones arrived, this many went home.

Endless nights of ears refusing to rest from alert, muscles that refused to relax after the exhaustion from the fight as they wondered what they got right, what they got wrong and what else they could have done. Memories of events there turned to events back home, wondering what their wives were doing, what the kids were doing, why their brother-in-law was such a jerk as they finally find some sleep, drifting off in the blissful silence until the dreams begin. Dreams provided from the demons of destruction's bloody battles.

Countdown done and going home, but going home to what? Going back to all they left, looking a little thinner, a little older but still the same person who left the comfort of their home and family. Heading back to the rose bush and picket fence outlining what was their's. No more rice paddies and huts for them. No more words that sounded like noise instead of means of communication. No more machine guns, wet feet, dirty clothes and sleeping with bugs. No more terrible food and thirst that never seemed to be quenched. Burgers on the grill, hot dogs, steaks in their belly, clean body covered with clean, normal clothes they got to decide once more what they wanted to wear and a bed with crisp air dried sheets. Simple pleasures they never really thought much about until they no longer had them.

This is the way they thought they'd come home but they did not notice the piece of them they left behind and the strange hijacker of their spirit filling the whole claiming more and more of the man they used to be until that man no longer lived taking for themselves what the enemy failed to obtain with a bullet or a bomb.

Their stories will never be added to the full accounting of the price of war. We made a good attempt at collecting their numbers but too many more will never be added, stories never told by families wondering what more they could have done, what they got right and what they got wrong.

Wars are never cut and dry, over and done, when the peace papers are signed and delivered. They rage on in the minds of those who put their bodies on the line for a grand vision of success, defeating an enemy that refused to surrender until the last breath was exhaled. Wounds of the mind claiming those who did not go and did not know what price they would have to pay for loving someone who did.

It's all being repeated in cities and towns all across this nation as flags are folded with care and presented to the family from this "grateful nation" who will never know the man to be buried there. Never know the story of how their life was lived and ended. Never knowing that one more name needed to be added to the accounting of the price of war.

Senior Chaplain Kathie Costos
"The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive veterans of early wars were treated and appreciated by our nation." - George Washington

Monday, April 14, 2008

DOD 75,000 casualties, VA 300,000 new patients confirmed


Contact: Paul Sullivan, Executive Director, Veterans for Common Sense,

Iraq and Afghanistan War Casualties Escalate

DoD Confirms 75,000 Battlefield Casualties; VA Confirms 300,000 New Patients

April 15, 2005, Washington, DC – Veterans for Common Sense thanks CBS News for reporting two important – yet relatively unknown – facts about the impact of Iraq and Afghanistan wars on our military and on our veterans:

The Department of Defense confirms there are 75,000 U.S. service members battlefield casualties.

The Department of Veterans Affairs confirms there are 300,000 new unexpected veteran patients at VA hospitals and clinics.

Read the CBS article here:

VCS believes Americans should know the full extent of the impact caused by the Iraq and Afghanistan wars – the 75,000 service member battlefield casualties, plus the 300,000 veteran patients here at home. VCS wants our service members to receive the best physical and mental healthcare available while in the military. And we want our VA hospitals to quickly increase staffing and cut red tape so VA is ready, willing, and able to take care of all of their current patients, plus the tidal wave of new war veteran patients flooding into the system.

Never again should a suicidal veteran be turned away from VA. Read about the suicide of Iraq War veteran Jonathan Schulze here:

Veterans for Common Sense provided prior versions of the same documents to Columbia University Joseph Stiglitz and Harvard University Professor Linda Bilmes as an essential component for their new book, “The Three Trillion Dollar War,” where they estimated the consequences of the two wars may cause as many as 700,000 disabled veterans requiring VA healthcare and disability benefits costing U.S. taxpayers up to $700 billion over 40 years. VCS obtained the casualty reports from Department of Defense and the healthcare use reports from Department of Veterans Affairs using the Freedom of Information Act.

Paul Sullivan
Executive Director
Veterans for Common Sense
Post Office Box 15514
Washington, DC 20003
(202) 558-4553

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Veterans for Common Sense:nearly 75,000 casualties

Apr. 9, VCS Special Report: Nearly 75,000 U.S. Service Member Battlefield Casualties from the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars

Paul Sullivan, Executive Director, VCS

Apr 09, 2008

Last month, the US marked five years in Iraq with the tragic news of 4,000 service members killed in the war zone. But the 4,000 U.S. deaths are only part of the story.

In addition to the deaths, the devastating facts about the war continue to leak out. On the night of April 8, in an effort to conceal bad news from the public and press, the Department of Defense quietly released their new U.S. service member battlefield casualty statistics from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars: 74,713.

Veterans for Common Sense vigilantly monitors these statistics for our members by checking for new DoD casualty reports about Iraq and Afghanistan at the beginning of the month, based on a Freedom of Information Act request we sent in nearly two years ago.

DoD prepares one report for Iraq War casualties and one for Afghanistan war casualties and posts them to a hard-to-find web site. VCS then combines the statistics in easy-to-read fact sheets for distribution to our members, the public, journalists, and our lawmakers. VCS obtained the difficult-to-find DoD web site address for the reports through the Freedom of Information Act.

The sad news: the total number of casualties from both wars reached nearly 75,000, where casualty is defined as killed, wounded, injured, and ill. The Afghanistan War caused more than 9,000 casualties to date. And the Iraq War quagmire caused more than 65,000. The DoD casualty reports document more than 70,000 total non-fatal casualties, plus nearly 4,500 deaths, from the two war zones in Iraq and Afghanistan, for a grand total of 74,713 U.S. service member battlefield casualties.
go here for more

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Deployments to Iraq nears 3 million in 5 years

Personnel have deployed at least once
to the Operation Iraqi Freedom or
Operation Enduring Freedom theaters of
operations* through January 2008, with
24,852 service members deploying five
or more times. There have been
2,967,848 total deployments.*
*Breakouts for OIF and OEF not available.
Source: Defense Department

Medals awarded for service in Operation
Iraqi Freedom.*

Medal of Honor: Army, 1;
Marine Corps, 1
Distinguished Service Cross/
Air Force Cross/Navy Cross:
Air Force, 0 ; Army, 8;
Marine Corps, 17**; Navy, 1
Silver Star: Air Force, 11; Army,
385, Marine Corps**, 77;
Navy, 40**
Legion of Merit: Air Force, 3;
Army, 59; Marine Corps, 28**;
Navy, N/A
Distinguished Flying Cross: Air
Force, 269; Army, 96; Marine
Corps, 24**; Navy, N/A
Bronze Star: Air Force, 1,881
(91 for valor); Army, 58,877
(1,843 for valor); Navy, 2,258***
Marine Corps, 1,940**,***

Send them once and rate of PTSD is one out of three. Send them again and you raise the risk by 50%. 24,852 have been deployed 5 times or more. Is there any kind of statistical rate we could use for them?

What are we doing? What are we doing to them? To their families? I still get emails from soldiers and family members just finding out what PTSD is. How many more are in this country without any kind of clue what they are living with? Forget about the average citizen even knowing what it is. Most have no idea how many troops have died in Iraq or Afghanistan. For the record, as of today 3,991 in Iraq and 487 in Afghanistan according to These numbers do not come close to the true death count of our service men and women simply because if they kill themselves when they come home by suicide, suicide by cop or by crashing their cars, they are not counted. At least 6,000 per year have taken their own lives. This means that 34,478 have died as a result of Iraq and Afghanistan. As for the wounded, again, they are not really counted because while the official count is 29,314, the wounds of PTSD and TBI are not included in these counts. None of the backlog claims in the VA are counted among any.
We never count the family members in any of these numbers either.

What makes all of this even more terrible to fully grasp is that the Congress has yet to understand the full, far reaching price being paid on a daily basis, in Iraq and Afghanistan and here back home.

Chaplain Kathie Costos
"The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive veterans of early wars were treated and appreciated by our nation." - George Washington

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Human Toll - Up to 700,000 U.S. Casualties Expected from Iraq and Afghanistan

Mar. 16: War's Legacy, Its Human Toll - Up to 700,000 U.S. Casualties Expected from Iraq and Afghanistan Conflicts
Of the 1.7 million service members with recent combat experience, some 800,000 are now veterans entitled to VA health care and benefits. Of those, 300,000 have had treatment; 40 percent were diagnosed with a mental health problem, more than half with PTSD, according to Veterans Affairs figures released as a result of a lawsuit by Veterans for Common Sense, a nonpartisan veterans advocacy group. Paul Sullivan, the group's executive director, says the patient figure could eventually reach 700,000. A recent Harvard University study says taxpayers' cost for the care of injured veterans will run up to $700 billion.

click above for the rest and keep in mind this is just the start of all of this.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Why does the Pentagon keep two sets of books on wounded?

Care for Injured Vets Raises Questions
By BRADLEY BROOKS – 1 hour ago

BAGHDAD (AP) — The number of wounded soldiers has become a hallmark of the nearly 5-year-old Iraq war, pointing to both the use of roadside bombs as the extremists' weapon of choice and advances in battlefield medicine to save lives.

About 15 soldiers are wounded for every fatality, compared with 2.6 per death in Vietnam and 2.8 in Korea.

But with those saved soldiers comes a financial price — one veterans groups and others claim the government is unwilling to pay.

Those critics also say that the tens of thousands of soldiers wounded in Iraq are part of a political numbers game, one they say undermines the medical system meant to care for them.

The most frequently cited figure is the 29,320 soldiers wounded in action in Iraq as of Thursday. But there have been 31,325 others treated for non-combat injuries and illness as of March 1.

"The Pentagon keeps two sets of books," said Linda Bilmes, a professor at Harvard and an expert on budgeting and public finance whose newly published book, "The Three Trillion Dollar War," was co-authored with Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz.

"It is important to understand the full number of casualties because the U.S. government is responsible for paying disability compensation and medical care for all our troops, regardless of how they were injured," Bilmes said.

Veterans Affairs predicts it will treat 330,000 veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan in 2009 — a 14 percent increase over the 2008 estimate of 263,000 — at a cost of nearly $1.3 billion.
go here for the rest

They need to expect over half a million and even more than that if this keeps up. It would also be very interesting to find out why the Pentagon thinks they should keep two sets of books. This didn't explain it.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Marines want probe into armored vehicle program

Marines want probe into armored vehicle program
Story Highlights
Corps asks Pentagon to look into why specially armored vehicles were delayed

Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles arrived in large numbers in 2007

Internal report says earlier delivery could have prevented deaths, wounds

Suicide bomber kills 9 in northern Iraq, military says

From Barbara Starr

(CNN) -- Casualties could have been reduced by half among Marines in Iraq if specially armored vehicles had been deployed more quickly in some cases, a report to the Pentagon says.

Marine Corps spokesman Col. David Lapan said the Defense Department's inspector general wants to investigate the report's claims that bureaucratic delays undermined the program to develop the armored vehicles.

The program was designed to provide combat forces with Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles, known by the acronym MRAPs.

The Marine Corps requested an investigation last week after receiving Marine technology expert Franz Gayl's report.

"If the mass procurement and fielding of MRAPs had begun in 2005 in response to the known and acknowledged threats at that time, as the USMC is doing today, hundreds of deaths and injuries could have been prevented," Gayl wrote in the report.
go here for the rest

How many lost their lives because of this? Got blown up? Ended up with TBI and PTSD?

Friday, February 15, 2008

Gross mismanagement caused deaths and injured in Iraq

Study: Lack of MRAPs cost Marine lives

Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Hundreds of U.S. Marines have been killed or injured by roadside bombs in Iraq because Marine Corps bureaucrats refused an urgent request in 2005 from battlefield commanders for blast-resistant vehicles, an internal military study concludes.

The study, written by a civilian Marine Corps official and obtained by The Associated Press, accuses the service of "gross mismanagement" that delayed deliveries of the mine-resistant, ambush-protected trucks for more than two years.

Cost was a driving factor in the decision to turn down the request for the so-called MRAPs, according to the study. Stateside authorities saw the hulking vehicles, which can cost as much as a $1 million each, as a financial threat to programs aimed at developing lighter vehicles that were years from being fielded.

After Defense Secretary Robert Gates declared the MRAP (pronounced M-rap) the Pentagon's No. 1 acquisition priority in May 2007, the trucks began to be shipped to Iraq in large quantities.
click post title for the rest

Thursday, February 14, 2008

333,000 US Casualties: Are They Covered?

333,000 US Casualties: Are They Covered?
By Maya Schenwar
t r u t h o u t Report
Thursday 14 February 2008

As Iraq and Afghanistan war casualties soar to unprecedented levels, Bush's 2009 Veterans Affairs' budget comes up short.

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will treat about 333,000 sick and injured veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars in 2009, according to VA statistics released last week. That number is a 14 percent increase over this year's casualty total. Yet, despite the Bush administration's promises to prioritize the VA even as other domestic departments' funds are cut, its annual budget request for next year places more financial burdens than ever on many returning soldiers.

At first glance, Bush's 2009 budget may seem like a boon to veterans: It would increase the VA budget by $3.4 billion.

"The President's ongoing commitment to those who have faithfully served this country in uniform is clearly demonstrated through this budget request for VA," said VA Secretary James B. Peake at a budget hearing last Thursday. "Resources requested for discretionary programs in 2009 are more than double the funding level in effect when the president took office seven years ago."

However, veterans' advocates argue the budget's growth has not kept pace with the skyrocketing size of the veteran community - or the increasing cost of servicing them.
go here for the rest

816,211 claims backlog shows this is only part of the number of wounded.

Monday, February 4, 2008

They are not numbers but men and women who were loved

In January of 2008 we lost 40.
The total is 3,945 as of today.

This is what happened in Iraq today, at least part of it.

FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, Feb 4 04 Feb 2008 17:16:35 GMT
Source: Reuters
Feb 4 (Reuters) - Following are security developments in Iraq at 1700 GMT on Monday.

* denotes new or updated items.

* KHALIS - U.S. forces killed 15 militants and detained eight other suspects in an operation on Sunday to target a suspected al Qaeda meeting place northeast of Khalis, 80 km (50 miles) north of Baghdad, the U.S. military said.

* MOSUL - Gunmen killed three policemen in two separate drive-by shootings in Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

* KIRKUK - A roadside bomb aimed at a police patrol wounded two civilians in Kirkuk, 250 km (155 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

SALMAN PAK - Iraqi and U.S. forces killed seven gunmen, wounded another one and arrested 28 suspects during air assaults targeting al Qaeda near Salman Pak, 30 km (20 miles) south of Baghdad, the U.S. military said.

BAGHDAD - A roadside bomb killed three soldiers and wounded two others when it struck their vehicle in northern Baghdad's Adhamiya district, a member of a neighbourhood police unit said. Two members of the local police unit were wounded in gunfire which broke out after the blast, he said.

ISKANDARIYA - U.S. forces killed nine Iraqi civilians, including a child, while pursuing al Qaeda fighters near Iskandariya, 40 km (25 miles) south of Baghdad, on Saturday, the U.S. military said. Another three people, including two children, were wounded.

BAQUBA - Gunmen killed the driver of a minibus and a girl in a drive by-shooting near Baquba, 65 km (40 miles) north of Baghdad, police said. The girl's brother was wounded.

BAGHDAD - One U.S. soldier was killed when a roadside bomb exploded near his vehicle east of Baghdad on Thursday, the U.S. military said.

BAGHDAD - Two people were wounded by a roadside bomb planted under their car in northwestern Baghdad's Hurriya district, police said.

BAGHDAD - Two policemen were wounded by a roadside bomb southwest of Baghdad, police said.

BAGHDAD - Gunmen killed a foreign ministry official in a drive-by shooting in western Baghdad's Mansour district, police said.

These are not numbers but people. The men and women we sent to risk their lives in Iraq. They had families, children, friends. They had lives. In these figures we do not see the 5 active military men and women a day attempting to commit suicide or the 17 veterans a day who end up taking their own lives. We don't see the families left to grieve and wonder what they could have done differently. They cannot see that it was not their fault but our's. We didn't have anything ready to take care of any of them. We didn't get ready for the 7 who survive for every life lost by a road side bomb blast or bullet. We were not ready for the amputations returning and when it came to the soldiers coming back with PTSD, we tried to not notice them at all until we had no choice but to face the failure we are all guilty of. We didn't fight hard enough for them. What is stopping us from doing it now?

I read what the war bloggers had to say about the surge working, as if they had reason to celebrate and relax, but what they didn't notice was the fact there were dips and peaks in the attacks since the beginning. As long as the troops are still risking their lives, we do not have the luxury of not paying attention to any of this. As the days turn into years, there are more and more who will need help physically or mentally and it's up to us to take care of them when they need us.