The war claimed another life, that of Army Spc. 4 Christopher D. Rose. His death is noteworthy, not only because it’s a tragedy every time an American soldier dies, but because he is San Francisco’s first Iraq tragedy since the war’s start more than three years ago:
The parents of Army Spc. 4 Christopher D. Rose slowly placed the medals he earned in Iraq on top of his casket one by one: two Purple Hearts, a Bronze Star, a Good Conduct Medal.
It was part of a day meant to honor the life of the 21-year-old soldier who became San Francisco’s first war casualty in Iraq when he stepped on an improvised explosive device on June 29 in Baghdad.
Spc. Rose’s death highlights something unusual about this War. San Francisco is a fairly small city (it has fewer than 800,000 people), but it is still the fourth largest city in California and the 14th largest in the U.S. It’s striking that, more than three years into the War, San Francisco has only suffered one casuality. By contrast, during World War II, San Francisco alone lost over a thousand men to the war. In Vietnam, San Francisco lost over 160 men.
From these numbers, I’m willing to hazard two conclusions: First, as noted above, modern warfare (including modern medical techniques) means a greatly reduced number of casualties overall. And second, at least one major urban area, unsurprisingly, is contributing very little to the current war effort. Even with the low number of casualties, the 14th largest city in America must have a very small presence in the troops to explain that the first casualty occurs more than three years into a large scale war.
In any event, my sincere condolences to Spc. Rose’s family. The article shows that he was an impressive young man, from a loving family, and his death his a loss neither our country nor his family can afford.
UPDATE: American Thinker was kind enough to link to this article, and ended up doing me a big favor beyond increasing my traffic. I got an email from D. M. Giangreco, who is affiliated with (works for?) the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. He is also the author of a huge number of books about the military, Truman, WWII, etc. He was kind enough to send me links to some articles he’s written about casualties during WWII. They’re well-written and really interesting, especially in the context of the daily casualty count the MSM likes to use as headlines in the current war — not to honor the dead, but to damage the living. You can check some of his articles out here, here, and here. You can find links to more of Mr. Giangreco’s articles here.