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Casualties of war: middle-income families greatest victims of Iraq combat.

THE GROWING TOLL OF MILITARY CAUSALITIES IN IRAQ and Afghanistan has raised the question of who is bearing the burden of military service. A common belief has been that minorities and low-income families are disproportionately impacted by America's war efforts. Though minorities have demonstrated a greater propensity to serve in the Armed Forces, specifically the Army, African American servicemen aren't suffering unusually high rates of injury or fatality in combat zones.

According to Bearing the Burden of the Iraq War? An Analysis of the Demographic Causalities in the Global War on Terrorism, the death toll in Iraq is taking a toll on middle-class America. The 2007 study, published by the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies in Washington, D.C., revealed it is middle-in-come American families, 86.8%, who are disproportionately represented in military deaths.

The study analyzed household income data of enlisted service-communities. The preponderance of service members who die in the war come from communities with median incomes between $30,000 and $75,000. The communities least impacted had incomes greater than $100,000. The study's author, Lt. Col. Randolph R. Rotte Jr., a U.S. Army War College senior services fellow with the Joint Center, further notes that upper-income families were slightly underrepresented, at 0.5% of fatalities and 0.9% of the U.S. population.

Young Americans are also bearing the greatest brunt of the Iraq war, with more than half of casualties among those under age 25. Servicemen ages 22 and under account for 1,214 deaths, while those ages 22 to 24 numbered at 999, totaling 54% of all casualties.

According to data from March 19, 2003 to July 5, 2008, released by the Department of Defense's Statistical Information Analysis Division on U.S. military casualties, the number of U.S. military servicemen killed during Operation Iraqi Freedom reached 4,106. Of these deaths, the vast majority, 2,973, were suffered by the members of the Army. African Americans, who make up just over 17% of all active military service members, accounted for 391, or 9.5%, of fatalities in Iraq. Hispanics, by comparison, represent 10.5% of the active military and accounted for 439, or 10.7%, of military

U.S. Military
Active Duty
by Race

(As of May 2008)

White      70.3%    958,732
Hispanic   10.5%    143,167
Black      17.2%    234,960
Asian      (3.6%)    48,673

SOURCE: DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE

Note: Table made from bar graph.

Operation
Iraqi Freedom
Deaths by Race

(Through July 5, 2008)

White      74.7%    3,068
Hispanic   10.7%      439
Black       9.5%      391

Asian      (1.9%)      77

Note: Table made from line graph.

ILLUSTRATION BY ROBERT KEMP

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Title Annotation:FACTS & FIGURES
Author:Sabir, Nadirah
Publication:Black Enterprise
Geographic Code:7IRAQ
Date:Sep 1, 2008
Words:445
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