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:
Accident
Hostile Action
Homicide
Illness
Pending
Self-Inflicted
Terrorist Attack
Undetermined

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 is Senior Pastor of Kessler Park UMC United Methodist Church in Dallas, Texas. Previously, he was pastor at Northaven UMC in Dallas for seventeen years. Eric loves to write on topics of spirituality, social justice, music/art and politics. The entries on this blog reflect that diversity of interests. His passion for social justice goes beyond mere words. He’s been arrested at the White House, defending immigrants and “The Dreamers,” and he’s officiated at same sex weddings in his churches, in defiance of what some believe is Methodist teaching. Eric is an avid blogger and published author, and 2017 recipient of the prestigeous Kuchling Humanitarian Award from Dallas’ Black Tie Dinner. (Human Rights Campaign) 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, and is currently the longest service district judge in that district. She was re-elected for a fourth term in 2018. They have the world’s best daughter, Maria, and an incredible dog, Daisy. Find links to Eric’s music-related websites, at the top of this site’s navigation menu.

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