Friday, October 30, 2009

U.S. Troops Killed in Iraq & Afghanistan - 5,261 to date

President Obama salutes a fallen warrior.

Oct. 29 (Bloomberg) -- President Barack Obama said his early morning trip to take part in a ceremony marking the return of 18 Americans killed in Afghanistan was a “sobering reminder” of the burdens of war.

Obama, who traveled to Dover Air Force base in Delaware where the remains were returned to U.S. soil this morning, told reporters at the White House he is “constantly mindful” of the sacrifices made by U.S. personnel.

“The burden that both our troops and our families bear in any wartime situation is going to bear on how I see these conflicts,” he said.

The president made the unannounced trip as the deadliest month for American forces in the eight- year war draws to a close and he considers a new U.S. strategy in Afghanistan. Fifty-five U.S. military personnel have been killed in the conflict so far in October.

The casualties returned were seven soldiers and three Drug Enforcement Agency agents killed in a helicopter crash and eight soldiers who died when their vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb blast in the Arghandab River Valley. Both incidents occurred Oct. 26.

Reporters witnessed Obama participating in the transfer of Army Sergeant Dale R. Griffin, whose family consented to media coverage.

Obama saluted as six Army soldiers carried the flag-draped transfer case from the plane to a waiting vehicle, which then drove away.

President Obama made the trip as he is reviewing U.S. strategy for the war in Afghanistan that includes a decision about whether to send as many as 40,000 more soldiers to the country. The U.S. has committed about 68,000 military personnel to the conflict by the end of the year.

Speaking to servicemen at Naval Air Station Jacksonville, in Florida, on Oct. 26, Obama said he wouldn’t “rush the solemn decision of sending you into harm’s way.”

Obama will confer with the Joint Chiefs of Staff, his top military advisers, tomorrow (Oct 30th) as part of his deliberations.

Obama told reporters that the trip was “a sobering reminder of the extraordinary sacrifices that our young men and women in uniform are engaging in every single day.”

Dover AFB, is the traditional point of return to the U.S. for members of the military killed overseas.

Obama earlier this year, reversed an 18-year-old policy barring media coverage of returning war dead. The Pentagon said the original policy was established to protect the privacy of the return ceremony. Now families of fallen American troops can decide if they will allow media coverage.

Public support for the war has waned as U.S. casualties have mounted. In January 2002, only 6 percent of Americans surveyed by the Gallup Poll thought the war was a mistake compared with 37 percent who said so in September.

As of today, 887 Americans have died in the Afghanistan war.

In a briefing with reporters yesterday, Gibbs said writing condolence letters to families who have lost loved ones in the war is the “hardest task” Obama has faced in his presidency.

Edited Article By Nicholas Johnston and Kate Andersen Brower

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If you are concerned about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan please let the President know your feelings.

You can call or write to the President:

The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500


Phone Numbers: Comments: 202-456-1111


Switchboard: 202-456-1414
FAX: 202-456-2461

Click here to send an e-mail message: http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/

*****

As of this date 5,261 U.S. military personnel have been killed in

Iraq and Afghanistan.

Please speak out on behalf of them and their families.


2 comments:

Michaelann Bewsee said...

I am so sick of this war I don't even know where to start.

peacesojourner said...

Hello dear one:
I feel the same way but the only thing that I can do is continue to speak out about the war and encourage others to take some action.
Every time I see the statistics of those killed in the wars, watch another video of the returning caskets and see the wounded warriors coming home, I cannot be quiet.
We have to let the government know that a large number of this society do not approve of the decisions that are made.
I'm a pacifist but that does not mean I have to be quiet about it!
So I will continue to protest - maybe until the day I die - at least on that day I will know that I stood up for something.
Stay strong my friend.