From the October 2007 Idaho Observer:

73,000 Iraq war veterans dead

By The Idaho Observer

Last May, the Gulf War Veterans Information System of the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA), published a report detailing the numbers of military casualties in the Gulf since 1990. The report shows that more Gulf War veterans have died than Vietnam veterans.

U.S. Military Gulf War Deaths:

Deaths amongst Deployed—17,847

Deaths amongst Non-Deployed—55,999

Total deaths—73,846

Total soldiers killed in Viet Nam was less than 56,000.

Gulf War veterans who have filed "Undiagnosed Illness" (UDX) claims is 14,874 and the total number of disability claims filed is 1,620,906 (407,911 among the deployed and 1,212,995 among nondeployed).

Thirty-six percent of combat veterans have filed disability claims.

We know government estimates for Iraqis killed are as "low" as 70,000 while statistical analyses and anecdotal evidence supports numbers ranging from 700,000 to over one million. Likewise, government estimates for U.S. soldiers killed (less than 4,000) is low compared to the DVA total of 73,000.

The discrepancy is in the counting. The government is reportedly counting only soldiers that die, in action, before being taken away by helicopter or ambulance.

As a sad anecdote, a reliable source from southern California commented that a friend had just began working at a funeral parlor. In the first two weeks, he had been at the scene of six suicides—all of them gulf War vets. That is just one funeral parlor guy, in one mid-sized American town. The possible numbers of additional service-related deaths from suicide are staggering. Who is going to count those guys?

Consider the huge numbers of nondeployed among the ranks of those the DVA counts as dead.

And will they ever count the numbers of men and women who will eventually die from illnesses linked to service-related toxic exposures of drugs, chemicals and depleted uranium?

When you count all the present and future casualties of the Gulf War since it began in August, 1990, this is by far the deadliest war in U.S. history.

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Hari Heath

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