November 15, 2015
When we talk about veterans we fail to talk about how many witnessed the deaths of their brothers and sisters in service. For every servicemember killed in war there are many survivor witnesses who will never forget.
How many is something that we may convince ourselves we know, but the truth is, we never really know the true cost of war. The worst thing is that our own government doesn't seen to know either.
Too many politicians call Afghanistan the longest war, including the President.
Statement by the President on the End of the Combat Mission in AfghanistanIn October of 2001 troops were sent into Afghanistan and as of this month there are 9,000.
"Today's ceremony in Kabul marks a milestone for our country. For more than 13 years, ever since nearly 3,000 innocent lives were taken from us on 9/11, our nation has been at war in Afghanistan. Now, thanks to the extraordinary sacrifices of our men and women in uniform, our combat mission in Afghanistan is ending, and the longest war in American history is coming to a responsible conclusion."
In 1955 they started dying in Vietnam and did not stop dying there until May of 1975. So how was this forgotten?
How is it that the American public believes there were less than 60,000 killed in Vietnam?
So then how did this happen?Memorial is dedicated to the 2.7 million men and women in the U.S. military who served in the designated war zone.With the addition of six names added in 2010 the total is now 58,272 names listed on the Memorial. Approximately 1200 of these are listed as missing (MIA's, POW's, and others).
How many Americans have died in U.S. wars?
Vietnam Conflict Total 8,744,000, Total Deaths 58,220 Battle Deaths 47,434 Other 10,786This is from the National Archives
The dates are from 1956 to 1975 with more added up to 2006. They include 38,224 Army deaths, 2,586 Air Force deaths, 2,559 Navy deaths and 14,844 Marine deaths and 7 Coast Guard deaths.
What about all the others?
Where did the 90,220 Vietnam War Deaths on the PBS image come from? The Department of Veterans Affairs "Other Deaths in Service (Non-Theater) 32,000 and it came from "Covers period 11/1/55 – 5/15/75""
Think about that for a second. Aside from all the years they were fighting and dying in Vietnam, there were also 32,000 killed, forgotten about in all the talk about Vietnam.
Naturally this does not even touch on all those who paid the price because of Agent Orange.
AGENT ORANGE CASUALTIES KEEP MOUNTING
"roughly 2.8 million U.S. military personnel — out of 7.4 million total — who served in Vietnam between 1962 and 1971 and were exposed to Agent Orange, one of several potent defoliants deployed by the military to destroy the Vietnamese jungle and, along with it, the enemy's hiding place."
It does not include those who died due to suicide from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder but with both of these, we'll never get the true number until every Vietnam veteran is in the grave. Even then it is doubtful especially when they can't even get the numbers that should be right, actually right to begin with.
So who do we forget about? What service is not good enough to remember? How many paid the price of retaining freedom? What life was not worth counting?
That is also happening today when the press keeps reporting "22 a day" is if that number was acceptable when it is not even close to the number of veterans in this country committing suicide every day. It may be easier to say but it sure as hell isn't making it any easier to live with.
Top that off with the simple fact that the majority of the veterans they bother to talk about are over the age of 50 and then, then you may be closer to the truth.