More on Military Deaths

A little more on my blog on military deaths…

Kim emailed yesterday to ask a good question:

“What are the leading causes of death for each of these years/eras? Is there any data on this?”

Don’t know why I didn’t stop to ask that question myself. On Sunday, I was in such a hurry to get the blog posted, so shocked by the blatantly incorrect data, that I didn’t delve into this slightly deeper question. But it’s a good one.

And, turns out, the same report provides the answers…for those willing to look it up.

Just one page over from the page I cited Sunday (meaning: page 11), you will find a more detailed table called:

“US Active Duty Military Deaths, 1980 Through 2006”

This table provides a chart listing out the deaths each year by different standardized categories.

The categories are:
Hostile Action
Terrorist Attack

Turns out, the greatest cause of death of active military personnel in every single year since 1980 was “Accident.” The second-greatest cause in most years was “Illness.” Sadly, “Self-Inflicted” and “Homicide” are the third and fourth most populous categories.

The statistic that jumped out for me during Clinton’s time was “Terrorist Attack.” And the total number who died during Clinton’s two terms was: 75

This compares to just 55 for the first six years of Bush’s term.

By the way, the biggest number of terrorism deaths since 1980 happened in 1983, during Reagan’s tenure, and the number of deaths was: 263.
(Was this Beirut? I’m thinking it must have been…)

One of the more interesting stats, then, is a direct, “apples-to-apples” comparison of “Hostile Action” deaths in both the Bush and Clinton years.

Of course, we’ve been in a war for this past half decade now. It makes sense to assume Bush’s total would be higher, despite the insinuation of the email that started all of this.

Sure enough, that’s the case.

Total Active Military Deaths due to “Hostile Action:

Six years of George W. Bush (2001-2006): 2,596.

Eight years of Bill Clinton (1993-2000): One.


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Eric Folkerth is a minister, musician, author and blogger. He has been Senior Pastor of Northaven United Methodist Church in Dallas, Texas since 2001. During his tenure, church membership has grown almost 30 percent, and a completely new church facility (sanctuary and education building) has been constructed. Northaven is a leading progressive Christian congregation in the Southwest. Northaven is an eclectic collection of gay and straight families, artists, musicians, theater folks, academic theologians, lawyers and judges (go figure), socially conscious community activists, people who don't "check their brain at the door," and a wide array of others who either see it as their "last chance" inside the "institutional church," or their first trip back in decades. Eric is an avid blogger and published author.  Eric is also an award-winning singer-songwriter, who performs throughout Texas and the Southwest. He's an engaging live performer whose first CD was released in 2000. His songs have won honorable mention in both the Billboard and Great American song contests; and he's been a finalist in the 5th Street Festival and South Florida Folk Festival songwriter competitions. Eric is also a leader of Connections, a unique band comprised of United Methodist clergy and layfolk from throughout North Texas. Connections performs "cover shows" of artists like Dan Fogelberg, Chicago, Eagles, Doobie Brothers, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, James Taylor and others. Their shows draw crowds of between 300 and 1,000 fans, and they have raised more than $240,000 dollars for worthy charities. Eric has led or co-led hundreds of persons on mission trips around the globe, to places such as Mexico, Haiti, Russia, and Nepal. He has worked with lay persons to build ten homes, and one Community Center, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Dallas. He's a popular preacher, and often tackles challenging issues of social justice in his writings and sermons. His wife, Judge Dennise Garcia, is a State District Judge for Dallas, County. As judge of the 303rd Family District Court, she consistently gets high ratings from area lawyers, and was named "best judge" by The Dallas Observer. First elected in 2004, she was the first Latina ever elected to a county-wide bench in Dallas County. She was re-elected for a third term in 2010. They have the world's best daughter, Maria, and an incredible dog, Daisy. (As always, if you like this post, then "like" this on Facebook by clicking the box below, so others can see too...)

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