The 2,000 and The 15,000

From Holden:

The Plame case is about them, too.

The human toll for the U.S. military in the Iraq war is not limited to the nearly 2,000 troops deaths since the March 2003 invasion. More than 15,220 also have been wounded in combat, including more than 7,100 injured too badly to return to duty, the Pentagon said. Thousands more have been hurt in incidents unrelated to combat.


Military statistics showed that while 23 percent of U.S. troops wounded in combat in World War Two died and 17 percent in the Vietnam War, 9 percent of those wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan died. Without the advances since Vietnam, the U.S. death toll in Iraq would be nearly double the current total.

But military doctors said some troops who may have died in previous wars are surviving, but with grievous injuries such as multiple limb amputations. More than 300 troops have undergone at least one limb amputation. By far the single biggest cause of combat wounds are blasts from IEDs.

“We look at patients oftentimes and feel like it’s a miracle that they’re alive,” said Lt. Col. Paul Pasquina, chief of physical medicine and rehabilitation at Walter Reed, which has treated more than 4,400 troops hurt in Iraq.

“Someone who loses one limb is a challenge to get back to a meaningful, functional lifestyle,” Pasquina said. “But somebody who loses three limbs, on top of other types of soft tissue wounds, fractures, head injury, spinal-cord injury, paralysis…?”