September 1st, 2004


The other statistic.

Although most people are aware that we're nearing the thousandth soldier killed in Iraq, Associated Press reported today on the other statistic; we're fast approaching 7,000 wounded soldiers in Iraq. The ratio of seven wounded to 1 killed seems to be the new status quo for this kind of combat. This is quite different from Vietnam, where, for every soldier killed, 2.63 were wounded.

What this means is that body armor, combat medicine, and emergency response time has improved to such a degree in the past 30 years that a U.S. soldier who is injured in Iraq has a 266% better chance of surviving. That translates into approximately 1650 soldiers who have survived this war thanks to these advances, but they've survived with worse wounds than in prior wars, and will, in many cases, bear those wounds for the rest of their lives. More amputations, more severe head trauma and brain damage, more spinal cord injuries... more of the worst wounds imaginable.

Lives are being saved. Hopefully, most of these lives will still be worth living.